A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling,
passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
The CGG-306 represents an interesting variant of the portable tabletop grill; one that tries to mimic the performance and usability of a full-sized grill, just in a smaller package.
It’s an admirable approach, and despite some stumbles, the grill largely delivers on that design goal, providing an overall great grill for a more than reasonable price.
The construction is one of the standout features here. This grill has total stainless-steel construction, both inside and out. In terms of durability this is perfect. The steel adds a lot to the longevity of this grill, which is great for something that needs to be lugged around everywhere. The only drawback is the stainless-steel grates are going to be a little bit harder to clean than powder coated steel, since your food is going to stick to the grates a lot more easily.
Still, it’s hard to deny how striking the silvery appearance is, and that might make up for a bit of minor annoyance in cleaning.
Performance is where this grill REALLY shines though, really bringing that “full sized performance in a smaller package” dream to life. This is a dual burner grill (almost unheard of in portable tabletop grills), with a pair of very nice burners with a solid 10, 000 BTUh of heat output to them; equivalent to a full-sized gas grill.
Combined with its 275 square inch cooking surface, you can get a whole lot done. Even better, the heat is fairly even. While the 72 BTU per square inch figure does fall below the recommended 80 to 100 BTU per square inches metric that most people go by for full sized grills, it far exceeds my own expectations for a tabletop grill, which I typically give a lot more leeway because they’re concerned more with being fuel efficient and cost effective rather than truly providing top quality performance. This grill gets a lot closer than most other options on the market.
The cooking area is great. As mentioned, it’s 275 square inches, which is roughly equivalent to your standard small sized kettle grill. This gives you plenty of space to make enough food to food a good-sized crowd of people; depending on what you’re cooking it’s great for groups of 4 to 6, or maybe 8 people or more if it’s all sausages or something relatively compact.
The twist knob ignition is simple and easy to use, with a rudimentary heat or power gauge from low to high attached to it. It’s no proper temperature controller (able to dial into a specific temperature), but it’s better than nothing and combined with the thermometer in the lid it’s relatively easy to dial into whatever temperature you want.
This tabletop gas grill is also compatible with up to 20 lbs. tanks of propane, so that makes it easy to buy propane for, which is nice; for particularly small portable gas grills you can often have trouble buying those miniature propane tanks.
The legs on this are very stable, which makes it great for most surfaces; you don’t really need to worry about the table being perfectly flat, or even necessarily with using a table at all. It works just fine on most terrain as long as it’s not horrifically slanted or pitted, so it’s great for taking out on a camping trip in that regard.
The price definitely helps its somewhat limited nature go down. It doesn’t cost that much more than the aforementioned CGG-180t, and a little bit less than something like a middle tier Weber Q series. It’s also arguably a bit better in performance than the latter (and a lot better than the former).
What We Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, it does have a few stumbling blocks that make me look askance at its ability to be a proper camp grill. Namely, that it’s so bulky. Not every portable tabletop gas grill needs to be ultra-compact like the Cuisinart CGG-180t, but it helps to be able to tote it around easily. This grill weighs 22 lbs., and is about a foot and a half on each side, making it fairly difficult to store when space is at a premium.
While 22 lbs. isn’t super heavy in the grand scheme, if you’re planning to go on a little hike or something to a campsite…it can really start to weigh you down along with all your other gear. If your not trained to carry heavy hiking packs then your in trouble. Particularly since you’re likely going to need to carry it by hand using the handle instead of packing it away in your backpack or something like that, because it’s super bulky for a grill like this (the legs don’t even fold up).
That makes this tabletop gas grill better for stuff like cookouts at the park or as an extra grill to take to a friend’s house to give them a little extra cooking space to use for the backyard barbeque they’re hosting, that sort of thing.
It’s perfect for any circumstance like that, for drive up campsites and the like, or for boating trips where you might plan to pull up on the shore and cook your catch for a nice lunch.
Final Thoughts: Is it a Good Grill?
It’s easy to recommend this grill for someone who needs it for any of the options already mentioned, or if you have other constraints. It even works great as a home grill; as mentioned it has about the same amount of cooking space as a decent kettle grill, and can be more easily stored under a countertop or something. For the price, it’s hard to do better.
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