Though it does have several smart design features and is very easy to take with you just about anywhere, I do have some reservations about how it will suit the average person.
For instance, it doesn’t have a very big cooking space, but it does seem to make the best of what it offers.
Though it features a solid design, some vital operational parts are questionable.
About the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet
The Petit Gourmet is one of the most portable grills out there. Once assembled, it takes just a few seconds to set up and get going. The legs expand outward and drop down as you lift the unit. Simple enough for one person to set up with out any issues.
Lightweight materials keep the Petit Gourmet grill easy to carry, with the exception of the heavy cast-iron grill grate. But even with that extra weight, it still comes in at less than 20lbs including the stand!
Storing and transporting it is a breeze. It doesn’t take up much room and will easily fit into any car.
Other Noteworthy Features
- Durable painted steel grill box and lid
- Gas control knob with built-in ignition
- Drip tray catches grease and other run-off
- Use as either a free-standing grill or tabletop grill
- Cast Iron Grill grate has a porcelain enamel coating
- Easy to clean and keep clean
What’s In The Box?
When you open up the box, you will find the grill with stand attached, two feet, the cooking grate and drip tray. No hardware or anything else to worry about.
Assembly couldn’t get any better, unless you didn’t have to assemble it at all!
The instructions for the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet are very simple and easy to follow and assembly doesn’t need tools. The average person, after reading the instructions, should have it completely together in less than five minutes.
All you really need to do is attach the two feet which have color coded arrows that conveniently match up with counterparts on each side.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why they left that much for us to assemble, but at least it’s simple enough to do!
Dimensions and Weight
Compact Dimensions: 16 1/2″L x 15 3/4″W x 6 1/2″H
Full Size Dimensions: 16 1/2″L x 11 1/4″ W x 33 1/2″H
Height of cooking surface with legs extended: 29.5 inches (a little short!)
Total weight of the unit is 17lbs.
Use either 14.1 oz or 16.4 oz liquid propane bottles. You can expect a 16.4 oz bottle to last about 3 hours if you ran the grill on high the whole time.
You can also pick up any brand of propane hose made for connecting refillable propane tanks. No need for an adapter, nor do you need to buy the one made by Cuisinart.
There is a 3 year warranty that applies to workmanship and defects, but note that it doesn’t cover the enamel on the grate. If there is a problem with the coating, you must report it within 30 days!
It appears that Cuisinart doesn’t directly support this grill. If you have any warranty concerns, you need to contact The Fulham Group, which appears to be the North American distributor for some Cuisinart grills. Use the contact phone number listed in the manual.
Not much is available in terms of accessories, with the exception of a cover/carry bag. It is a bit oversized for carrying around the grill in, but that just leaves room to pack other things in as well.
Though a hose for use with 20 lb propane tanks is available, unlike other low-pressure grills, an adapter isn’t required for the regulator. Any properly-fitted hose for use with refillable propane tanks and BBQ’s would work fine.
A Critical Review
How Portable Is The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet?
As I’ve already heavily noted, the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet is all about being portable!
This grill would be suitable for anyone who needs something that’s very easy to carry around and set up.
Even with the stand and heavy cast iron cooking surface, it only weighs in at 17 lbs. This makes it one of the lightest grills we’ve ever reviewed.
It’s also small enough that it will easily fit into any car trunk and won’t be at all difficult to stack things on top of.
How to set it up:
When it’s in its compact mode, the legs are folded securely against the base of the grill, and it can be carried around by its lid handle, sort of like an odd looking suitcase.
When you have found a spot to set it up, all you do is pull outward on each set of legs until they are completely extended, and lift the grill up so the legs swing down and underneath. A simple check to make sure that the legs are in their secured position, and that’s it!
To collapse the stand, simply stand on each of the grill’s feet, pull the body up until you feel the legs unlock, nudge the legs apart and lower to the ground until the legs are flat. Then push the leg release button and slide them back in.
It seems to cook fairly well, too, as long as you stick to the basic grill favorites such as small steaks, chicken breasts, hot dogs and hamburgers. Know that you won’t be grilling any superb masterpieces.
It has a cooking surface area of 145 square inches. I would say that this would be best for two people who like to grill veggies as well as meat. A young family could expect to cook a few hamburgers and a couple of hotdogs at once.
I noticed that most literature out there says that it can cook quite a bit more than what I recommend, but in my opinion, anything more would really be crowded.
On the upside, it does fairly well with its meager 5500 BTU’s, and I suppose that’s partially due to less flame required to heat the smaller grilling space.
It will get up to 500° F after about 5 – 10 minutes on high, and that will be hot enough to warm up the cast iron. You might not get a good sear, but it will certainly cook your foods in a reasonable amount of time.
As far as I can tell, there are no issues with hot or cold spots, but grilling greasy foods will certainly cause flare-ups and some smoke.
Cleaning up isn’t too difficult, as long as you are aware that this is a grill and it is bound to get a little dirty.
With that said, it does have a drip tray that will catch excess grease and food debris that happens to run off. It’s easy to remove and empty, and can be washed in your usual dishwater.
Waiting until the grill cools down enough to touch but is still warm, and scrubbing it with an abrasive pad seems to work best. If it needs a bit of extra attention, the grate is small enough to soak overnight in your kitchen sink.
The grate can be cleaned off with a wire brush, but I would recommend that you find one with bristles made for softer surfaces and not your typical wire brush – though that is just my opinion.
The interior of the body can be wiped out with some warm soapy water and a dish cloth, though it will be more difficult to clean off underneath the burner. The manual includes instructions on how to remove some pieces for a thorough cleaning.
For the most part, the Petit Gourmet is made with fairly high quality parts. The grill box itself is made out of stainless steel that has been painted, and as mentioned earlier, the grill grate is cast iron and has a porcelain enameling.
The legs are what I would assume to be aluminum or something similar, and have plastic brackets and feet.
Overall, it’s quite sturdy and I would consider it to be of very high quality, with two exceptions.
The lid latch is a little flimsy. It’s made of plastic. After a few uses, it seems to loosen a little bit, and has a tendency to unlatch itself when you least want it to – when you’re carrying the grill. Once the lid pops open, the grate can fall right out of the unit and onto the ground.
Pros & Cons
- It’s the perfect size for two people
- Can set up just about anywhere
- Very easy to set up and store
- Extremely lightweight and easy to carry
- Can be used as a tabletop or as a free-standing grill
- Some issues with the lid popping open when carrying around
- When set up, cooking surface is quite low, a mere 29 ½ inches
- The handle is made out of plastic, and has been known to melt
Ratings and Recommendations
The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet has some fairly positive reviews, with more happy customers than not, but there is certainly room for improvement.
The average customer rating is just short of 4 stars, with 60% of reviewers giving it 4 stars or better.
A few of the negatives that really popped out:
- One reviewer compared it to an overpriced hibachi
- A couple of owners complained of melting paint and handles
- Some received faulty igniters and had to light with a match
Reviewers that were happy with their grill were very quick to point out that they didn’t have any problems at all, and that it was the perfect grill for their needs.
I don’t think that the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet could be called a great grill, but you could certainly do worse.
It would be perfect for those who want something that’s really easy to carry, because if the Petit Gourmet is anything, it’s definitely portable. Just watch out for that lid latch!
Young families would be okay with it, but I imagine that unless you want to stick to hotdogs and drumsticks, the grill would become less useful as children inevitably grow and eat more.
It really would be best suited for two or three people who need something very portable.
I gave the Petit Gourmet 3 stars for quality for two reasons. The first is because the lid latch pops open very easily when the unit is being carried. It might not be a huge issue for some, but I don’t like having to stop to pick my grill grate off the ground. The second reason is because customers have had issues with components melting.
Cleaning was docked one star because you actually need to remove parts with a screwdriver in order to get at the bottom of the firebox to properly clean.
Cooking ability received 4 stars because while it will grill, it does take a little longer to do so.
If you want something that’s bigger and still easy to carry, the Blackstone Dash Portable Grill may be a good choice, but there are several reasons why it may not work. Read my Blackstone Dash Review to learn more.
A better choice within the Cuisinart brand could be the All Foods Grill. Though I haven’t yet reviewed the Roll Away version with included cart, it may be worth checking out. You can read my Cuisinart All Foods Tabletop Grill review for a little insight.
There is also a tabletop version of the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet grill. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but in the meantime you can see it at Amazon.
Prices and Where to Buy
I usually see the Petit Gourmet going for around $170, but sometimes you can find it for as low as $150.
If you do decide to buy this one, I really suggest getting it from a retailer that is both reputable and will do exchanges or returns easily, such as Amazon, so you can avoid trying to have your warranty honored if something is wrong out of the box.
I recommend the following retailer. They had it at the best price last time I looked, and seem to keep it in stock. If I find a better price, I’ll update the box below.