Hands-on Gear Review

Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Review

Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Portable Gas Grill
Top Pick Award
Price:  $150 List | $121.89 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, easy to carry and clean, legs can stay folded or extend into two different heights, fuel efficient
Cons:  Doesn't grill super hot, lid latch can be finicky, can be slightly unstable if not on a solid level surface
Bottom line:  This grill is easy to carry, simple to setup, easy to use.
Editors' Rating:   
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Total BTU (from manufacturer):  5,500
Weight (pounds):  15
Cooking surface area (inches):  154 sq in
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart

Our Verdict

The Petite Gourmet is super portable, lightweight and easy to carry with one hand. Its telescoping legs tuck in nicely when closed which makes it the easiest product we tested to transport. The Petite Gourmet got to go on a lot more fun single day adventures than other contenders because it is so ultra-light and convenient to carry. The PG puts out 5,500 BTUs, so it isn't incredibly powerful, but it does grill evenly and efficiently. If you're looking for something a little more powerful, try the Coleman RoadTrip LXX Grill, as it has the highest BTU output of all the products we tested. If you're on a tight budget or want a little more output power and grill area, check out the Smoke Hollow 205.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Valentine Cullen

Last Updated:
Friday
August 18, 2017

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Performance Comparison



Output Power


The PG had the lowest amount of BTU output we tested at 5,500 BTUs. The low setting on this portable grill is very low, and the highest setting isn't extremely high, but it does get the job done.


When set on the lower setting, grilled vegetables or roasted garlic cooked without worry. Our testers prefer the slow and low method of grilling rather than the hot temperature searing methods. If hot is the style of grilling you prefer, further investigate the Coleman RoadTrip LXX or the STOK Gridiron 1-Burner.

On its lowest heat setting the Cuisinart Petite Gourmet portable grill works great for roasting garlic or grilling veggies.
On its lowest heat setting the Cuisinart Petite Gourmet portable grill works great for roasting garlic or grilling veggies.

Control


We didn't experience any flare-up, and not much gets stuck to the impressive non-stick porcelain enameled cast iron grate. It didn't cook the most amount of food of all the grills tested, but it was by far the most portable. It cooks evenly with a slightly warmer (by just a few degrees) area directly in the middle row horizontally across. The PG heats up quickly and uses a minimal amount of fuel compared to a full-sized grill. We do wish it came with a temperature gauge. This product's Piezo Ignitor works well, and the regulator is not in an area that gets in the way of cooking, carrying or transport.


One nice feature of the temperature control is that when turning from high to low, there is no way to shut down the fuel accidentally — you have to push in the dial and twist it to turn it completely off. The PG has a tiny little grease drip tray that attaches securely to the bottom of the grill and is easy to take on and off. It does not leak grease when in the standing position and when cleaned regularly, though it could overflow if you do not clean it often enough. If transporting or storing the PG on its back with the handle up, make sure to remove and clean the tray first.

Make sure to check out the Weber Q 1200 and the Coleman RoadTrip LXX Grill as well. They both received a higher score than the PG in this metric. The Weber is a tabletop model and the LXX is a stand-alone, rolling cart style product.

Weight


The Cuisinart Petite Gourmet is the lightest product that we tested and weighed in at a mere fifteen pounds. If folds up small, making it convenient, super portable, and a good option for those with limited storage space.


The Blackstone The Dash is only three pounds heavier than the PG and it's also very easy to transport in its rolling suitcase style fashion.

Ease of Transport


This grill is the lightest and easiest model to transport in our fleet. Its VersaStand integrated adjustable telescoping base/legs can be set up to cook in the fully closed position making it a tabletop version, and the unit is not wobbly. It can also be set up in the fully open position where it is a tiny bit wobbly unless it's on an extremely flat and level surface, or with the legs in the halfway open position as well. The PG is by far the most portable grill tested.


There is a minimal learning curve to figuring out the telescoping leg system. It's pretty simple once you get it, just make sure you start out with the grill on the ground, telescope out the legs half or all the way (they snap into place securely) and then lift the grill up, and pull down on the legs until they snap into the locked position.

Petite Gourmet's VersaStand integrated adjustable telescoping base.
Petite Gourmet's VersaStand integrated adjustable telescoping base.


Make sure to take the grease tray out when transporting this product on its back with the handle up - especially if it's a hot day, as the grease could melt and drip out. You do have to carry the Petite Gourmet by its handle. To do so, make sure that the lid latch is securely fastened. After the first few closures, the lid and latch became finicky, and we did have to press down firmly on the lid to close the latch securely. If you're looking for a small, lightweight, easily portable product that you don't have to carry, check out the Blackstone The Dash. It's the smallest and lightest stand alone product we tested, and it wheels along easily like a small, lightweight rolling suitcase.

The Coleman RoadTrip LXX also earned a high score in this metric and it has side tables and wheels, but it weighs 35 pounds heavier.

Cooking Area


The PG's porcelain-enameled 189 square inch cast-iron grate is easy to clean, especially with a sponge and hot soapy water, or in the dishwasher. Rest assured that it is easy to cook on and won't rust. Refrain from scrubbing it with a metal grill brush, which could damage the surface. This product has the smallest cooking surface tested but it is one of the easiest to transport.


The Weber Q 1200 is the only other product we tested that has a Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron cooking surface. It is a tabletop model and has 35 sq. in more cooking space. The Coleman RoadTrip LXX recieved a high score in this metric for having a 285 sq in cooking surface that grills hot, evenly and quickly.

Wind Resistance


This product performed fine in high winds. The single stainless steel burner is large and set down low so that even when opening the lid in high winds, the flame was not affected. When its legs were in the fully telescoped position, they were not affected by the wind either.


The Blackstone The Dash and the Weber Q 1200 also recieved high scores in this metric. The Dash is also a lightweight model that is easy to transport and can be used in both a tabletop and stand alone positions. The Weber is a great tabletop model that recieved an excellent score in control.

Best Applications


The Petite Gourmet would do well as an occasional use product for tailgating, camping, picnicking or RVing. It may not be well suited for more regular use such as an apartment patio. We suspect it might not be sturdy enough for that. After several uses, the inside of the lid was charred black, and the lid latch became fussy. Several Amazon reviews reported instances where, when used on a regular basis on high output mode, plastic parts melted.


Value


At $150, the price tag on the PG is no joke, especially for such a tiny little thing. But, if you want a grill that you can grab out of the closet or garage and practically toss into the trunk, or grab out of a tiny compartment in your RV easily without struggle or fuss, this is it. It's small, lightweight, reliable and quick and simple to use.

Conclusion


This grill is great. We loved it. It's fast and light. Seriously, this puppy is a grab n go, and it takes about two minutes to set up. It's reliable and easy to use, and its versatility is super sweet. It can be a tabletop or stand alone grill. It can even be something in the middle if your unique grilling situation calls for it. It's also fuel efficient. The next lightest grill we tested, the Blackstone The Dash, was only three pounds heavier, but much harder to set up, and the grease trap system on the Petite Gourmet is way more sophisticated.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Cuisinart Petite Gourmet also comes in a version without telescoping legs that is two pounds lighter, and its packed size is smaller because the little legs fold underneath and not on the sides like the one in this review.
Valentine Cullen

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Most recent review: August 18, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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