We reviewed the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet to see if this tabletop cooking unit stood alongside the very best gas grills on the market. Thanks to its small size, we felt the unit would be well suited to places or events where space is likely to be at a premium; thin family picnics, camping trips, apartment patios, or tailgate parties. However, the benefits of its small size are definitely counterbalanced by some serious concerns about the grill's safety and capability. Read on for our full thoughts.
J D. Chadwick worked at Top Ten Reviews between 2008 and 2018. He was an expert in software and covered everything from antivirus programs, software and apps, power tools and outdoor grills in that time. He reviewed the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet gas grill and tested its performance, heat consistency, and looked out for any major flaws to see whether it matched up to some of the best units on the market.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet review: Cooking performance
Almost all the other grills we tested have enamel-coated cast-iron grill plates. The Petit Gourmet, by contrast, uses stainless steel. Given its size and price point, this isn’t a big deal. However, you should expect meat to stick more frequently than it would on a grill with cast-iron grates.
It's also worth noting that the grill's small size means it features a small cooking area. We could only comfortably fit three hamburger patties on the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet's grill plate. And, thanks to a fluctuating temperature (more on that below), we'd wager you're best served to keep a meat thermometer on hand to check everything is properly cooked before serving.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet: Heat consistency
The heat consistency was hard to determine with this grill, primarily because the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet lacks a built-in thermometer that displays the exact temperature you’re cooking at.
To establish the heat consistency, we used an infrared heat gun to get an idea of how hot you can expect the grill to be after you’ve been cooking for seven, 14, and 21 minutes. We found that the temperature fluctuates wildly, and you can’t rely on this grill to produce an even temperature.
This means that you’ll have to check your meat every few minutes to make sure you’re not burning it. You’d be well served to have a meat thermometer handy, especially when cooking chicken, to make absolutely certain that your food is cooked properly.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet review: Design
The Petit Gourmet's small size is its biggest selling point because it makes using and moving the grill extremely convenient as it's easy to set up, store, move, and clean. That being said, the small size can be a limitation, as you'll need to use it on a tabletop or possibly a pickup truck tailgate.
That being said, there are variations of the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet that have extendable legs to solve this exact problem, so if you're looking for a freestanding portable grill, try that model or look into our top portable grill pick, the Coleman RoadTrip X-cursion.
Another big design flaw we noted was the drip tray. While it works well as far as it goes, you can’t rely on it to catch everything unless you empty it every few minutes. Even with the drip tray in place, we noticed grease dripping on our picnic table. If the tray gets too full, it’s a potential fire hazard and big flareups are a near certainty. Make sure you’re paying close attention while you’re cooking with this grill.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet review: Warranty
The warranty period for both burners is three years. This is the middle ground among the grills we reviewed, some had one-year warranties while others had a lengthy five-year period. The warranty period isn’t a huge deal, but it gives you an idea of how much confidence a company has in its products.
You’ll probably know what to expect from this grill just by looking at it – it’s small, low-powered and requires close attention while cooking. But it’s also inexpensive, lightweight and convenient. So, the trade-offs mostly equal each other out, as long as you know you’re getting precisely what you pay for.