Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill Review
Portable gas grills continue to grow in popularity for campers, tailgaters, and people who want a convenient way to grill out at the beach. Cuisinart is a relative newcomer to the grilling niche, but their expertise with cooking appliances still shines through with their CGG-180T Petite gas grill.
It has a single propane element that is rated to produce up to 5,500 BTUs. There is also a built-in twist electric ignition system, which spares you the hassle of matches or a stick lighter.
The single section 145 square inch grill grate has wide grids and is coated with non-stick porcelain material. This helps with heat retention and even distribution, while also making the grates easier to clean up than the sticky stainless steel and chrome-plated grill grates that you see with many of the competitors in this niche. It also has an internal spill-resistant drip tray.
The exterior is coated in a durable red fire-rated paint. The lid latches securely and there is a convenient carrying handle. The aluminum legs also fold up for compact storage and transport.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
This is a relatively small and inexpensive grill. Yet Cuisinart still made a point to not skimp on the material design. This is due in some degree to it using common components from other slightly larger grills in their line. Yet this grill still only weighs in at a very portable 13.5 pounds.
There are two minor complaints in the overall design features. The first is the shallowness of the 5,500 BTU stainless steel burner element. This can sometimes leave it vulnerable to the wind to the point that a strong gust could potentially blow the somewhat weak flame out.
The second complaint is that there is no thermometer mounted into the lid. While this isn’t an absolute must, it is still a feature that you see in similar propane grills in Cuisinart’s line.
Putting it together isn’t overly complicated, and you get the feeling that Cuisinart took their time drawing out easy to read instructions. If you are modestly handy and have a basic tool kit laying around the house, you should be able to get it fully put together in less than half an hour.
In all honesty, the 5,500 BTU stainless steel propane burner is a little on the weak side. If this was a larger grill, it would be something to complain about. There are indeed some grills in this same niche that are rated to produce as much as 10,000 to 12,000 BTUs!
With the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite, the slightly lower BTU rating isn’t as big of a deal. After all we’re only talking about a 145 square inch grill grate. Too powerful of a flame and you will likely end up with food that’s burned on the outside yet still undercooked on the inside.
The wide grids on the grill grate also help to retain heat for an additional sear, while also distributing some of the thermal energy across the cooking surface. This gives the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite the ability to sear hamburger patties and hot dogs, while also being able to cook things like pork chops without burning them.
It just doesn’t necessarily have the full firepower to do things like sear up a big batch of kabobs or replicate a Steak house sear on a ribeye.
The single section, porcelain coated grill grate measures in at 145 square inches. Though there is no warming rack to speak of with a grill this small.
The twist electric ignition is a nice touch and not necessarily something you see in a grill this small. Many of the competitors in this niche and price point still require you to mess around with matches or a stick lighter to ignite the element.
Folding aluminum legs and the latching lid with carrying handle might not seem all that special on paper. Yet they do come in very handy for packing, transporting and storing.
Ease to Clean
The Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite is surprisingly easy to clean. Many small portable grills like this lack a drip tray and have sticky grill grates that require a lot of elbow grease to scrape clean.
With the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite, the grill grates are carefully coated in a layer of non-stick porcelain, which makes them very easy to clean. Just keep in mind that the porcelain layer is somewhat thin. So, it’s best to scrape it down with a nylon grill brush rather than wire or a metal scraper.
The spill-resistant drip tray also does a very good job of catching any rendered fat or runoff. Just make sure you always pour it out and wipe it down before packing the grill up for transport. When turned on its side and carried by the handle the contents of the tray will spill out making a tremendous mess!
The Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite comes with the same 3-year limited warranty that Cuisinart backs most of their grills with. This is a step or two better than many of the nearest competitors who only offer a single year of warranty protection.
If you want more coverage than this, there are some online retailers who offer very affordable three and four year added protection plans.
If you are in the market for a portable grill that you can take to the beach, tailgating, or camping, then things like size and weight are likely high priorities. At the same time, you also don’t want to sacrifice quality just to get a friendly price point.
If this sounds like you, then the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite might just deserve to be on your radar. Just keep in might that it’s not the most rip-roaring hot grill on the market, yet it is still very easy to clean.
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Porcelain-coated non-stick grill grates
- Folding legs, latching lid and carrying handle
- 5,500 BTU stainless steel propane burner
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
- Drippings tray must be emptied to move it
- The burner isn’t very hot
- No warming rack
- Wind can sometimes be an issue