Our Weber Q1200 review puts this portable grill to the test, to find out whether it is truly portable, and if it can still offer enough power and cooking space, despite its small size. You can check out our best gas grills (opens in new tab) guide to find out how it compares to others.
Number of burners: 1
Main burner BTU: 8,500
Primary cooking space: 192 sq in
Dimensions: 24 x 40 x 20 in (lid open)
Weight: 31 lbs
Burner material: Stainless steel
Burner warranty: 5 years
Product warranty: 5 years (limited)
The Weber Q1200 aims to show that size doesn’t matter when it comes to gas grills. This portable grill has the styling and quality we’ve come to expect from Weber’s grills, all packed into a small, tabletop barbecue. The grill has a single burner, electric ignition (powered by battery), and two foldout side tables. The 192 sq in cooking area is ideal for couples or a small family, and the grill’s small size offers al fresco cooking opportunities for small spaces such as an apartment balcony, or for stowing in the car trunk for trips away from home.
We put the Weber Q1200 through its paces cooking steaks, burgers, vegetables and more, testing its cooking power, as well as looking at how easy it is to assemble and clean! We also looked at how truly portable it is, and how easy it is to store. Read on to find out if this portable grill is the best fit for you!
Naomi MacKay is Top Ten Reviews' Customer Advisor for Grills. She tested the Napoleon Freestyle 425 for a week to assess the range of its cooking capabilities, accessories, ease of use, and maintenance.
Naomi has been a freelance writer and editor for 20 years, having previously made the move from local newspapers and consumer technology magazines into the gardening press as Assistant Editor at Garden Answers magazine, and writes garden columns for a number of publications.
Weber Q1200: Design
One of the exciting things about the Weber Q1200 is that it comes in six different colors - though we tested the standard black model, you can choose to match your outdoor decor color scheme with blue, red, green, white and more.
The cooking grates are cast iron with porcelain coating - and did their job well, giving up good flavor and even heat. And - always an essential for us - they are easy to clean.
It’s quite an unusual design, which adds to its stylish street cred, but it’s pretty heavy at around 31 lbs, so we’re not sure how truly portable it is. Yes, you might carry it onto your balcony or porch, or move it around your yard, pop it in the car trunk or take it when you go on the road in an RV - but we don’t think you’ll be carting it off on a hike anytime soon.
It’s a pretty study machine and with a five-year warranty, we’d expect it to last well if looked after.
Weber Q1200: Features
The grill has one burner, which actually makes it easy for fuss-free grilling. We like that the side tables fold out on each side - making it easier to store. Having side tables of a small grill like this is a nice touch - you could stand it on a table - or purchase an accompanying stand.
The grill is powered by the small gas tanks, which simply screw in underneath - and it seems reasonably economical with the fuel. If you’re going to use it as your main barbecue in your backyard or on a balcony, however, we imagine it will be worth investing in the adapter kit and hose to connect to a regular-size gas bottle, and save on purchasing a steady stream of the portable ones.
Weber Q1200: Setup and assembly
For what is essentially a tabletop grill, the Q1200 comes in a pretty big box! But setting it up is a breeze - you could nip out and pick one up from your local Weber dealer, and be back home and firing up before you know it. All you have to do is attach the lid, screw on the handles, pop in the cooking grates, screw in the gas - and you’re away. Pretty simple for even the least technical of folk.
Weber Q1200: Performance
The Q1200 is perfect for basic barbecuing for a couple or small family. With a small cooking area and only one burner, there’s no opportunity for indirect cooking, so even if there was room, you would be unlikely to be roasting a whole chicken, but there’s plenty of space for a couple of steaks from Mom and Dad and a pack of burgers for the kids. If a couple is using it, you could easily put on your meat and include some veggies on the side - perfect for a quick supper when you come home from work.
While the Q1200 got to temperature reasonably quickly, the temp dropped when we open the lid, and then took a while to get back to temp once we closed the kid.
We are pleased that it is possible to buy a griddle plate, for half of the grill, which offers some adaptability to this small grill - ideal for an al fresco breakfast for RV campers.
Like the other Weber grills we have tested recently - the Weber Traveler and the Weber Genesis EPX-335 - the Q1200 has a grease tray, which fits Weber’s disposable foil trays. These are easily bought online, but we found we could scrape them out and pop them in the dishwasher.
Weber Q1200: Care and maintenance
The side tables on the Weber Q1200 fold upwards to save a bit of space when storing - and there’s a good-quality cover available to buy separately if you need to leave it outside.
Weber’s online expert suggests doing a ‘burn-off’ as the Q1200 is preheating. He says: “I’ll have it on high for about 15 minutes until the temp gets to 500 to 600 degrees or so, and then open it up and brush the grates with a clean stainless steel brush (opens in new tab).’ Always brush in the direction of the openings in the burner. (He also suggests replacing your brush every season!).
Every month, he recommends removing the grates and using a second stainless steel brush that is never used on the grate, to brush the burner tubes up and down, scraping off any leftover food particles that have fallen and might have clogged the burner tubes.
For the cook box, he takes a plastic putty knife, chips away any debris that surrounds the inside of the grill, and pushes everything into the opening down into the drip pan.’
Weber Q1200: Price
The Weber Q1200 is not cheap, but there are more expensive grills out there; for instance the Napoleon TravelQ 285 Portable Gas BBQ Grill is around 100 bucks more. It does have a larger cooking area, two individual burners and includes a griddle option, so you are getting more for your money - if the Q1200 isn’t quite big enough for your needs, this is worth considering. Its lid is also high enough for you to roast a whole chicken - Napoleon even reckons you could do your Thanksgiving turkey on it!
For around $60 less you could pick up the Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef's Style Portable Propane Tabletop, Professional Gas Grill. It’s 22 lbs lighter, has folding legs and lockable lid, and handle so is easier to transport, and has two burners. The warranty is only three years, so expect to replace it sooner than the Weber Q1200.
Weber Q1200: User reviews
For a portable grill, the Weber Q1200 certainly packs a punch, as one reviewers points out: “This bad boy gets up to 500 degrees in no time flat and performs like its much bigger cousins with a significantly smaller footprint. Grill a medium-rare ribeye to perfection, no problemo. Plenty of room for two people to grill a complete meal with meat and veggies. Four decent size steaks will fit just fine.’’
One worry for users is that if you set the grill on a tailgate or table it will burn the surface, but that is not the case, says this reviewer: “One of my favorite design features is the bottom of the grill does not get smoking hot, so you can set it on picnic tables and other surfaces without it damaging them from the extreme heat.’’
Most negative comments allude to the grill’s performance in windy conditions: “Windy conditions will use up a lot more as the instructions allude. Weber needs to up the BTUs so you can do rare and medium rare on thinner steaks and burgers and this would be a great grill.’’
Weber Q1200: What the experts say
In our search for the best gas grills out there, we spoke to Ross Bearman, founder of BBQ gifting company Ross & Ross Gifts.
We asked Ross his thoughts on the Weber Q1200. Here's what he had to say: "The Q1200 is made for anyone who is short on space! Ideal for a couple or a small family who want to barbecue on their balcony or when camping. A barbecue for anyone wanting a quick and simple grill, (rather than looking to do long, slow cooks) - I'd suggest you add on the griddle if you want to cook a camping breakfast with bacon, tomatoes and eggs.’’
Ross Bearman is the Founder of BBQ gifting company Ross & Ross Gifts. Ross is also a Great Taste Judge with over 25 years’ experience working in fine food and restaurants, creating premium food products for some of the country’s finest retailers. Ross continuously produces original, award-winning products with industry-recognized accolades such as Gift of the Year and the Great Taste Awards.
Should I buy the Weber Q1200?
The Weber Q1200 is a solid grill, and as long as its cooking space is good enough for your needs, it is worth buying. If you only want it as an ‘extra grill’ to take out and about with you on the odd day out, it’s quite pricey, but if you are an RV camper, or need a small grill for regular cooking on a balcony, it’s a good choice.
How does the Weber Q1200 compare to competitors?
If the Weber Q1200 is not big enough for your tailgating parties, you could look to the Royal Gourmet GD401 4-Burner Folding Gas Grill Griddle (opens in new tab), which for around the same price will give you four burners, a griddle and around 2.5 times the cooking area. It will take up a lot more space in your trunk though, and only has a 12-month warranty.
If size is an issue due to storage space, or if you want something you can put in the trunk or in an RV, you could consider the Weber Traveler (opens in new tab), which offers the cooking space you’d expect from a full-sized barbecue, and yet can be wheeled around the yard, or folded up and wheeled from the car to a barbecue spot on the beach. It’s also easy to store in a garage or shed when folded. All this for around $60 more than the Q1200.
How we tested the Weber Q1200
At Top Ten Reviews, we're passionate about providing consumers with the best possible purchasing advice. As such, we extensively test products, from the unboxing and assembling to performance, storage, and maintenance.
For each gas grill, we timed and assessed the ease of assembly. Then, our reviewers conducted precise cooking tests, from cooking chicken breasts, steaks, burgers, a whole chicken and vegetables. During these tests, reviewers assess the range of temperatures the grill can reach, the cooking times, how even and regular the temperature is, and any accessories that come with the grill. Once cooking tests are done, we speak to experts and seek advice about the best way to clean, store and maintain the grill.