Outdoor grilling is an experience that shouldn’t be denied to anyone, regardless of where you live, how many stories up your apartment is, or what regulations are in place. And no other place than your balcony is the ideal spot for an outdoor kitchen.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about putting a grill on your balcony.
Can You Even Grill On An Apartment Balcony?
The first question residents and developers ask themselves about the concept of having an apartment balcony barbecue is, “Can I have a grill on my balcony?” Well, several factors go into that question:
- How big is the grill?
- What fuel source are you using?
- Does the grill have an open flame?
Most of these questions come down to municipal code, condominium policy, and/or safety.
By and large, you can’t use a charcoal or gas grill on a balcony. The reason? These fuels are dangerous at such an elevation that cities and apartment complex owners simply aren’t willing to risk having them.
In most cases, you can’t have a grill outside your apartment. Sometimes there’s a community grill, but even those are heavily regulated. Fortunately, there is an alternative to fossil fuel-based grills. With a flameless electric grill, you can enjoy an outdoor barbecue on your apartment balcony.
Read More – Can You Grill on an Apartment Balcony?
Apartment Grill Rules
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) code #1 has essentially made open flame grilling not possible on your apartment or balcony grill (Granted, there are some minor exceptions). For those wishing to enjoy a complete barbecue experience, you’ll need to find an alternative to traditional fossil-fuel-based grilling methods.
For the most part, you can’t have a propane or charcoal grill on your apartment balcony.
Read More – Common Apartment Grill Rules to Know
Many individuals seeking to enjoy grilling still have had to compromise. The most common way of doing this is by using a small propane grill or small electric griddle. But this experience is simply underwhelming and doesn’t get you to that ideal BBQ state. The only way to get the quality grilling experience tenants are used to is for developers and builders to design apartment balconies with a premium electric grill in mind.
Fuels and Materials: Grilling Safety
Enjoying a barbecue safely is all about the fuel you use. Anytime you use fossil fuels and an open flame to grill, there is an inherent risk of fire danger. In fact, nearly 10,000 house fires a year begin due to a mismanaged gas or charcoal grill.
For this reason, as mentioned above, many apartments and condominiums restrict the use of traditional grills to ground levels to abet the danger.
Granted, no hot cooking surface is devoid of danger, but, by-in-large, flameless electric grills are the safest option available. That’s because these grills lack the hazardous components that natural gas, charcoal, and even pellet grills all have.
Electric grills have:
- No open flame that can catch other things on fire.
- No dangerous byproducts that can start fires (e.g., old hot coals).
- No combustible fuel that can leak (e.g., natural gas and propane tanks and lines)
As an added commitment to safety, all ElectriChef grills are built with smart shutoff timers, meaning you never have to worry that an absent mind has left a burner running.
Read More – Grilling Safety: Why Electric is Preferable to Charcoal and Gas Grills
Why You Need a Balcony BBQ Grill
So grilling on your balcony can be done safely and conveniently with an electric grill. But why the balcony? What makes this locale so enjoyable?
There’s just something so relaxing about sitting on a balcony, feeling the breeze while enjoying the smells and sounds of a sizzling steak on the grill. Nothing makes a communal gathering more complete than enjoying each other’s company with a beautiful view of the scenery, far above the noise and traffic below.
Simply put, a balcony BBQ grill offers an experience unlike any other in a luxury amenity.
Read More – Get Big Flavor in Small Spaces with a Balcony BBQ Grill
Grill Size: What’s the Best Grill for your Apartment Balcony?
Now that you understand the need to go electric for your outdoor balcony grill, it’s time to decide what grill is best for this confined space.
Generally speaking, there are four types of electric grills you can choose from for your outdoor barbecue:
Each is an excellent option for an outdoor barbecue, but in such a small space as an apartment balcony, you’re going to want to cook on around a 16-24” grilling surface area. This size is large enough to grill large enough portions for you and your guests but also small enough to squeeze into the limited space on your apartment balcony. If you’re a developer working with a larger balcony area, then larger sizes may work as well.
For the best grilling experience on that smaller, 16-24” surface area, a built-in or tabletop grill will fit best in such a small space. If you’re able to build on a larger space, then you should consider closed-based and pedestal grills as well.
These grills work well because they take up a relatively small amount of space. A built-in grill is an excellent option for developers and designers to center their apartment balcony grill around. The tabletop grill is excellent for tenants and property owners who want to add a great amenity to their outdoor balcony space.
Read More – What’s the Best Grill for an Apartment Balcony?
Where to Place Your Apartment Patio Grill
When it comes to placing a grill on your apartment patio, you’re only restricted in two areas:
- Where is my source of fuel?
- Where is the balcony/patio access door?
For an electric grill, you simply need to ensure you have the proper outlet and place the grill within plug reach.
Regarding balcony/patio access, you can’t place the grill too close to the access door. This can block ease of access, and you risk smoke from the grill getting that barbecue smell where it’s not wanted.
Read More – What's the Best Apartment Patio Grill & Where You Should Place It
At the end of the day, where you stick your grill will be a selling point to tenants, so you want to place it somewhere that preserves that great elevated view.
Getting Power to Your Electric Grill for Balcony
Electric grills require 220v of electricity. When a developer or designer makes the blueprints for the balcony they’re constructing, they’ll need to keep this in mind as they make electricity accessible there. As a best practice, you should always get a concrete idea of the sort of grill you’d like and be mindful of that as you design your building.
Read More – The Quick Electric Grill for Balcony Checklist
In the future, condos designed without compatible electricity may get that full barbecue experience from only a 120v plug, but having a balcony grill is primarily dependent on the electricity run by the developer.
Small Grill for Balcony Must-Have Accessories
The nice thing about electric grills is that they don’t need specialized tools to use. That means everyone can bring the same spatulas and forks they’re used to to the barbecue. As an added bonus, electric grills don’t need the same heavy chemicals to clean that fossil fuel grills do. Only warm soapy water is needed for a thorough cleaning job.
Outside the ordinary barbecue fixtures, there are two main items you’ll want to protect your grill and amplify your grilling experience.
To protect your grill, we recommend a quality grill cover.
To amplify your grilling experience, we recommend a rotisserie so you can barbecue in even more ways. If you’re looking to get creative, we already have a slew of recipes that are perfect for an electric grill.
Read More – Make the Most Out of Your Apartment with a Small Grill for the Balcony
Ready to Barbecue on a Balcony Grill?
You don’t have to compromise when you grill with an electric grill. Even where apartments have rules set in place or municipal codes have restrictions on open flames, you can still enjoy that classic barbecue experience by using an ElectriChef grill.
Ready to learn more? We’re here for it.
For developers and designers, we have our helpful SpecSheet to provide you with all the information you need to choose the right balcony grill for your apartment.
For tenants, we have our guide to owning an electric grill so you can further explore the opportunities.
Prefer to chat with us instead? We’re available at 800-442-7207 to talk through your questions.