Gas grills are exceptionally convenient, a perk that contributes to their broad appeal. Tabletop units add portability to the mix. Although they can be used on small patios and balconies as well, they’re ideal for camping and tailgating.
In 1952, the Weber brand was born when a man named George Stephen created the world’s first kettle-style charcoal grill. In the decades since, the company has remained on the cutting edge of grilling technology, offering quality products that are built to stand the test of time.
Their tabletop grill, the Weber Q1200, has a distinctive rounded shape and a compact design. It’s not the only portable unit that Weber offers, but it might be the most recognizable. Unlike some of the other models in the Q series, it’s powered by gas rather than electricity.
- Durable construction
- Attractive design
- Available in 6 different colors
- Heats up quickly
- High price point for a tabletop grill
- Disposable catch pans aren’t environmentally friendly
These Weber Q1200 reviews will take a closer look at this model to help you determine whether it’s a good fit.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Gas Grill
Why should you buy a portable gas grill in the first place?
As we mentioned, portable units can be used anywhere, even at home. They don’t take up a lot of space, and they can be brought along on picnics and camping trips.
Gas-powered units are especially convenient because you don’t have to worry about hooking the grill up to an electrical outlet or car adapter. There’s no messy charcoal to deal with, either. Just set up the grill, crank up the burners, and get cooking.
Here’s what you should look for in a tabletop gas grill:
- Build Quality: All materials should be durable and rust-resistant. Cooking grates are typically made of either stainless steel or cast iron, sometimes with a porcelain coating.
- Size: These grills are usually small by definition, but you want enough cooking space to serve everyone in your party without hassle.
- Weight: This isn’t a major factor when you’re dealing with larger grills, but when it comes to portable units, lighter equals better.
- Ignition and Temperature Control: Does the grill ignite every time you try to fire it up? How consistent is the temperature at the various settings?
- Grease Management System: A removable catch tray makes the cleanup duties go much more quickly.
- BTU Output: This number refers to the amount of energy that it takes to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For grilling purposes, it refers to gas usage and the heating output of the burners.
- Other Features: Take a look at any extras that the grill might have to offer, like side shelving or built-in bottle openers. Some units come equipped with locking lids, which is particularly convenient for travel.
Weber Q1200 Reviews: Features & Benefits
For this section of the Weber Q1200 reviews, we’ll go over several of the most pertinent features to see how they hold up to the industry standard.
The Weber Q1200 features a cast aluminum body and lid with a glass-reinforced nylon frame. The shroud opens and closes smoothly, with no hitches. This construction makes the unit lightweight (see Weight, below) and easy to clean. If you bring along a box of disposable wipes, you can get rid of any grease spots in a hurry.
Cast aluminum is a good choice for grills because of its ability to withstand high temperatures. In addition, the rounded shape of the cookbox allows the heat to circulate properly. This combination allows you to choose between direct or indirect cooking techniques and get satisfactory results every time.
As for the burner tubes, they’re constructed of stainless steel. The metal is rust-resistant and equally able to withstand high heat. It can also stand up to the trace amounts of water that are present in both natural gas and liquid propane, so it’s unlikely to burn through.
With the Q1200, you’ll get a set of porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates. I’m a big fan of this material for several reasons. First of all, cast iron is an excellent heat conductor. Secondly, it can last a lifetime with the proper care. Best of all, the porcelain coating makes the grates very easy to clean.
The grates for the Weber Q1200 have a half-moon design for easy removal, but they fit together perfectly when they’re in place. Make sure to wait until they’re cool enough to handle before you take them out. Once you’ve removed them, they can be washed with a mildly abrasive sponge under hot running water.
The unit offers 189 square inches of grilling space. For a tabletop unit, this should be more than sufficient. You might have to cook your burgers in batches if you’re grilling for a crowd, but the grill is powerful enough to do its work quickly. If your regular group consists of three to four people, this could be the ideal choice.
With the lid open and the tables out, the Weber Q1200 measures 24.6 inches high and 40.9 inches wide, with a depth of 20.5 inches. It’s small enough to fit on a picnic table, but it can be placed on any surface.
The Q1200 model weighs in at just over 29 pounds. That’s an impressively low number even for a tabletop grill.
Because the unit is so light, it can be taken along just about anywhere. Even if you’re buying the grill for home use, you can move the party to whatever outdoor location you choose.
In the past, people would look for about 100 BTUs per square inch when shopping for a gas grill. Because today’s models are more efficient overall, that rule of thumb no longer applies. As long as the construction is solid and the lid fits tightly, the unit should be able to hold its heat regardless of the BTU output.
The single burner on the Weber Q1200 cranks out 8500 BTUs over 189 square inches. Because this is a durable grill with a tight-fitting lid, the lower BTU output works fine. In fact, the unit is capable of hitting 450 degrees within just 10 minutes.
This grill features an electronic ignition system, which is powered by AAA batteries. The igniter switch is reliable and efficient, so there’s no need to carry along alternate lighting methods when you pack the Q1200.
Weber has installed an infinite control burner valve on this model. This allows you to direct the proper amount of fuel into the system, thereby achieving the temperatures you’re looking for.
The lid comes equipped with a built-in temperature gauge, so you can keep an eye on the grill’s progress. Because the unit is so small, it can be difficult to gauge the readout, even from a few feet away. However, the readouts are typically accurate, which is all that really matters.
Grease Management System
Weber’s grease management system for the Q1200 is well-designed and very user-friendly. Here’s how it works.
The grease and drippings are funneled down into an angled grease tray, which sits a safe distance away from the burner tubes. This helps to prevent dangerous flare-ups. When the grease exits the tray, it lands in a catch pan.
The grease tray slides out easily for cleaning, and the catch pan is disposable. When it’s full, just remove it and replace it with a different one. While this isn’t the most environmentally friendly approach, it’s undoubtedly convenient.
The Weber Q1200 is outfitted with a set of side tables, both of which can be folded away for ease of transport. When they’re in place, they can be used to hold condiments or utensils. We think they’re a bit too flimsy to be used for plates or serving platters, but if you’re using the grill on a picnic table or other surface, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Unlike some portable models, this grill is available in several different colors. Buyers can choose from the following hues: titanium, red, black, blue, orange, or green. While this obviously doesn’t affect the unit’s performance, it’s a nice perk if you want your grill to reflect your own personal style.
Weber offers a generous warranty for this model. The cookbox and lid are both under protection for 5 years, meaning that replacements are in order if the unit should rust or burn through.
The cooking grates, burner tubes, and all plastic components are also covered by a 5-year warranty. All remaining parts, including the paint job, are under warranty for 2 years.
Weber Q1200: Social Proof
We were curious to find out what other buyers had to say about the Weber Q1200, so we took to the Web and found a few positive reviews.
The stylish design and rapid, consistent heat were cited as major benefits. Because this is a travel-sized unit, it was favored by people working with limited space. Full-time RVers were particularly impressed by the unit’s capabilities. A few other users claimed that the battery-operated ignition system was a huge plus.
If you’ve read through our Weber Q1200 reviews and decided that it’s not what you’re looking for, don’t worry. There are other options that might serve you just as well, if not better. Here’s a look at three of the most popular choices.
#1 Pit Boss Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill
The heavy-duty stainless steel construction makes this grill as durable as it is attractive. It offers 276 square inches of cooking space across two burners, so it could be a good option for larger groups.
How They Compare:
- Affordability-Pit Boss
- Size-Pit Boss
- Weight-Pit Boss
- BTU Output-Pit Boss
- Care and Maintenance-Weber
Check out the Pit Boss model if 189 square inches just doesn’t sound like enough space for you.
#2 Char-Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill
This offering from Char-Broil is one of the most affordable travel-sized gas grills on the market. It features 187 square inches of cooking space, so it’s about the same size as the Weber. However, it cranks out 11,000 BTUs, giving it an extra dose of power.
How They Compare:
- BTU Output-Char-Broil
- Care and Maintenance-Weber
Take a look at the Char-Broil if you want a powerful grill at a budget price.
#3 Monument Grills Tabletop Portable Propane Gas Grill
Monument’s tabletop grill offers a stainless steel construction and 207 square inches of cooking space. It’s also outfitted with a set of locks that make it easier to transport.
How They Compare:
- Affordability-Monument Grills
- Size-Monument Grills
- Weight-Monument Grills
- BTU Output-Monument Grills
- Care and Maintenance-Weber
If you prefer a stainless steel construction to a painted finish, this cleverly designed option from Monument Grills could be the right fit.
The Bottom Line
When all is said and done, would we recommend the Weber Q1200?
Absolutely. The grill offers a decent amount of cooking space for a tabletop unit, and it’s both lightweight and durably constructed. The grilling grates are cleverly designed and offer great heat retention. What’s more, this is one of the most visually appealing travel grills we’ve ever seen, making it an excellent conversation piece.
If you think the Weber Q1200 would suit your grilling needs, click here to check it out.