I’ve lived in a condo for the last few years, and it’s great except for one thing: we can’t have any gas grills here. Honestly, I had forgotten how easy and tasty it was to quickly grill up some food, so when Kenyon offered us the chance to review their Portable City Grill I was super excited!
The Portable City Grill is electric and designed for small spaces, so it doesn’t violate any of the rules of my condo association. You can use it outdoors or indoors, but since it always seems to be weird weather when I decide to grill, I’ve mostly tested it indoors instead of out on my tiny balcony. The dimensions are 21″x12″x8″, which means while it takes up a big chunk of counter space, it does fit even in my relatively small kitchen. I have a chunk of counter space that’s about 2.5ft across, and it’s the perfect size to set up the grill; I do prep work on the regular part of the counter, and the little extra space houses the grill.
The grill itself is super easy to use. The grate is non-stick, and it cleans up super easily. There’s a basin underneath that you fill with water (or any liquid of your choice-I’ve been taking advantage of grilling to use up some Budweiser that I panic-bought at the start of quarantine). Because this grill is electric, there are no flames, so no smoke. I grilled sausages, breaded tofu, and chicken thighs on the grill, and never had even a whiff of smoke, so it’s fantastic for indoor use. Not only is this nice for general use, but I have a fire alarm that errs on the side of blaring at the slightest hint of burning, and not having to run the exhaust fan while grilling was a really pleasant surprise.
It warms up quite quickly, and you can adjust the temperature across a range with the dial. I’m not a grillmaster, but I was able to really easily cook everything up without ruining anything. And I served the food to my six-year-old, who once patted me on the arm and told me “good job mommy, the mac and cheese isn’t bad this time”, so he definitely would have shared if I did a poor job. I can’t speak to whether the beer added flavor over just using water, but I can say it made my house smell vaguely like warm Budweiser while the grill heated up, so there’s that. Also, as a former vegetarian, I have a lingering deep love for tofu, which I’ve passed on to my son. Grilling tofu can make it absolutely delicious, but it can also be very tricky. The grill plate on the Kenyon grill is non-stick, so it made the tofu cook up perfectly with no singed tofu bits hanging around torturing me. The plate is also dishwasher safe, so a quick rinse to get food particles off, then a trip to the dishwasher makes cleanup super simple. Especially since I’ve been running my dishwasher daily in this pandemic…if anyone has any thoughts on how 1.5 people can inexplicably generate so many dishes, please let me know in the comments!
The only downsides to the Kenyon grill are the size of the grill plate and the size of the grill itself. The grill plate has enough room to cook food for myself and my son, but you would definitely need to cook in shifts if you planned on feeding more than 2 people. In addition, the grill itself is big, so you’d definitely need a closet or shelf to store it unless you opted to get rid of all your other pots and pans. And probably your dishes too. Don’t do that. Just clear some closet space. Also, this clocks in at 27lbs, which isn’t super heavy, but depending on your mobility or storage plan, that might cause an issue.
Overall, I was really pleased with the Kenyon Portable City Grill. It cooks food quickly, there’s no lingering smokey smell, cleanup is a snap, and sometimes food just tastes more satisfying when it’s got grill marks. As an added bonus, my son adopted the box the grill came in as his new pet. One side effect of quarantine is that we’ve used every scrap of cardboard in the house so he can cosplay every weapon in the Legend of Zelda games universe, and now the Kenyon grill box is a pony named Epona…we’re big believers in recycling here, though clearly it’s hit a new level lately.
I thought a grill was one of those things I could live without…and while yes, I could, it’s really, really convenient and nice to use one. The fact that cleanup is an absolute snap, food cooks evenly and quickly, and the whole grill is light enough to stash away when not in use makes the Kenyon Portable City Grill a must-own!
The Kenyon Portable City Grill retails for $425, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer provided a review sample
What I liked: Easy to clean; Very simple to use; No smoke; Cooks food quickly and evenly; Pricey if you don’t do a lot of grilling; Box entertains small children (and probably cats, though no cats were available for testing)
What Needs Improvement: Too big to keep out all the time; The grill plate is a little small if you’re cooking a lot of food; 27lbs might make it too heavy for some to move easily