When I signed the lease for my apartment almost 10 years ago, I was disappointed to discover that not only was I not allowed pets, but barbeques were also forbidden. I managed to smuggle my cat into the building, but couldn’t quite figure out how to hide a barbeque on my balcony, so went several years without one.
The rules have since changed, and I am now the proud owner of balcony-sized grill that gets a lot of use every spring and summer. If you too live in an apartment and are in search of a balcony-friendly barbeque, here are some things to keep in mind, and some options to suit your needs.
Tips for buying a balcony-friendly BBQ
Measure: If you’re anything like me, and you have a slight issue with spatial reasoning, this step will come in handy. Its one thing to say “yup, it will fit” but will it really? The last thing you want is a barbeque that takes up all of your outdoor space leaving you nowhere to sit. So measure your space, and maybe even go the extra mile of sketching a to-scale replica of your balcony on graph paper so you can see exactly how much room the barbeque you’ve got your eye on will fill.
Obey: Before you purchase a barbeque for your balcony, make sure you’ve read and understand the rules of your rental or strata agreement. If it clearly states that absolutely no BBQs are allowed, don’t risk it as you may not be covered by insurance if something goes wrong. If barbeques are permitted, make sure you stick to what is listed as being allowed–for example, if the agreement says “no charcoal” then get a gas barbeque.
Be Smart: I’m sure this goes without saying and you’re smart all the time, but as a resident of an apartment you also have to be cognizant of your neighbours’ safety as well as your own. So make sure to keep your grill as far away from the walls and from under eaves as much as possible, check your gas connections regularly, and keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.
Balcony-friendly BBQ options
It goes without saying that the size of barbeque you choose for your balcony or patio will be directly related to how much space you’re working with. If you’re lucky enough to be among those who has enough square footage to actually entertain on your balcony, this 20,000 BTU 2-Burner from Char-Broil is a great option. Its’ full-sized grill heats up fast and maintains even heat via infrared technology, and at approximately 4’ wide by 4’ tall could definitely work if space allows.
For smaller spaces, another practical option is this Patio Bistro Gas BBQ from Char-Broil. It is super compact, yet has enough grilling surface to cook up to 20 four-inch burgers at the same time. It also has a warming rack on which you can prep side dishes, or just keep those burgers nice and toasty.
If your apartment building allows charcoal barbeques, this Charcoal Kettle Grill from Napoleon is the perfect option for a balcony. It’s compact and lightweight, and because it is equipped with all-weather wheels, you can tote it to all four corners of your balcony, or take it with you to the beach or on your next camping trip.
Last but not least is the Napoleon TravelQ 10,500 BTU Portable Gas BBQ. Not only is little guy ideal for very small outdoor spaces, but it is completely portable making it ideal for camping trips, beach barbeques, tailgating parties, or even as a backup barbeque for your neighbour’s summer party.