Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Review
Cons: Doesn't grill super hot, lid latch can be finicky, can be slightly unstable if not on a solid level surface
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet is a solid, compact grill for optimal portability. This is a grill you choose to carry in your small vehicle for grilling for 1 or 2 people at once.
The PG had the lowest amount of claimed 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. With a full propane canister and a thorough warm-up, this grill is ready for searing a steak. The 5500 BTUs are spread over a relatively small surface area, making for hot-enough grilling. When set on the lower setting, grilled vegetables or roasted garlic cooked without worry.
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 among the most portable. It cooks evenly with a slightly warmer area directly over the burner head. The Petite Gourmet 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 enough, and the regulator is not in an area that gets in the way of cooking or transporting.
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 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.
The Petite Gourmet is one of the lightest products that we tested, weighing in at a mere 15 pounds. It folds up small, making it convenient, super portable, and a good option for those with limited storage space. The Top Pick Primus Kuchoma is even more compact and weighs 5 pounds less than the PG, with little to no compromise in cooking performance.
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.
The PG's porcelain-enameled 145 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 a smaller-than-average cooking area, but it is one of the easiest to transport.
This product performed fine in high winds. All grills lose some heat to wind-borne convective cooling, and the smaller grills are more vulnerable. Allowing for this, we had no problems with the Cuisinart Petite. 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 price tag on the PG is no joke, especially for such a tiny little thing. But, if you want a free-standing 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, and quick and simple to use.
This grill is great, overall. We love 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 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. In head-to-head tests, we preferred the Primus Kuchoma for its superior portability, but still appreciate the performance of the Petite Gourmet.
— Aaron Rice and Valentine Cullen