This guide will help narrow down the best grill for an apartment balcony within your budget that fits your needs.
Based on our own staff’s experience, in-depth research in premium trade subscriptions, and crunching publicly available user reviews, we’ve curated the thousands of options on the market for a few that fit each typical use.
Under fire code governing most US municipalities, “10.11.7 For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, gas-fired grill, charcoal grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose, shall be used or kindled on any balcony or under any overhanging portion or within 10 ft (3 m) of any structure. Listed electric ranges, grills, or similar electrical apparatus shall be permitted.“
We have listed a couple gas & charcoal grills in this roundup because there are plenty of one and two family dwellings with a concrete balcony and residents looking to save space and keep things clean. For most condo, townhome, and apartment dwellers with balconies, the only options are electric grills. Before purchasing, please check any laws & regulations governing your specific property including lease agreements, HOA contracts, and local ordinances.Price of Meat Editorial Team
Whether you are looking for an electric grill that can be used on a small balcony or a portable charcoal grill or disposable grill for burgers, a grill is a great way to increase your cooking options.
Here are the details for all the best apartment living grill options options.
Best Overall Electric Grill – George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
- George Tough Nonstick Coating - There's a lot to love about this nonstick coating; it's durable, easy to clean, and removes the need for butter and oil
- Indoor or Outdoor Removable Stand - Don't let the weather keep you from the glory of grilling; the easy-to-remove stand takes you from patio to countertop in no time
- Adjustable Temperature Control - The temperature probe lets you choose from five heat settings to get the best results on any kind of food
- Apartment-Approved - Your landlord will love this grill just as much as you do because the fully electric system gives you high-quality grilling with no charcoal, no propane, and no flare-ups
- Included components: Use And Care Manuals
The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill is a great option for apartment dwellers who want to grill their food. This grill has a George Tough Nonstick Coating, which makes it durable and easy to clean. The removable stand also makes it easy to move from the balcony to the kitchen. The adjustable temperature control lets you get the perfect results on any kind of food. The best part is that this grill is approved by landlords everywhere because the fully electric system doesn’t require any charcoal, propane, or flare-ups. It does drip, so look into a mat to set under it if you bring it to the balcony.
Best Upgrade Outdoor Electric Grill – Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill
- COMPACT SIZE: 120 Volt / 60Hz. Pronounced briefcase-style carrying handle; weighs 17 pounds.
- GREAT FOR FAMILY MEALS: Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish at once.
- TELESCOPING STAND: Portable electric grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and 3 position telescoping base.
- POWERFUL GRILL: Powerful 1,500-watt heating element and porcelain-enameled coated grill grate.
- ELECTRIC POWER: Plugs into standard electric outlet; stand sets up and packs away in seconds. Includes a lid latch and spill resistant drip tray.
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill is a small, portable grill that’s perfect for apartment balconies. It has a briefcase-style carrying handle and weighs just 17 pounds, so it’s easy to take with you wherever you go. The grill has a 145-square-inch grilling area and comes with a telescoping stand that sets up and packs away in seconds. It also includes a lid latch and spill resistant drip tray. The grill is powered by a 1,500-watt, 5,120 BTU burner and features porcelain-enameled coated grill grate. It plugs into a standard electric outlet and requires no assembly.
Best Tabletop Electric Grill – Weber 55020001 Q 2400
- 1560-watt electric heating element to heat 280 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
- .Dimensions (Inches) Lid Open : ( H x W x D) - 26 x 31.5 x 25.1(Inches); :Dimensions - Lid Closed (inches) 14.5 H x 31.5 W x 19.5 D
- Fully assembled out of box, Infinite control burner valve settings. Fuel type-Electric. Power-1,560 W/120 V
- 6-foot grounded cord. The appliance should be supplied through a residual current device (RCD) having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA
The Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill is a high-quality option for those who want to enjoy grilled food without the illegal-ness of gas & charcoal. This grill has a 1560-watt electric heating element that can heat up to 280 square inches of cooking area. It also comes with porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and a cast aluminum lid and body. The dimensions of the grill are 26 x 31.5 x 25.1 (in inches) when the lid is open, and 14.5 H x 31.5 W x 19.5 D (in inches) when the lid is closed. It’s fully assembled out of the box, and it has infinite control burner valve settings.
Best Indoor Electric Grill – George Foreman 5-Serving Removable Plate Grill
- Removable Plates - Easy cleanup is essential, and that’s what the removable grill plates are all about. Pop them in the dishwasher after grilling and they’ll be ready to go for your next meal
- Premium Ceramic Coating - Time for an upgrade! Ceramic is the key to our improved nonstick coating. It’s 5x more durable, stain- and fade-resistant.
- Fat-Removing Slope - It’s the sure sign of a George Foreman Grill. The sloped grilling surface helps remove up to 42% of fat from meats for lean, tasty meals. Removable Grill Plates - The top and bottom grill plates are completely removable, and cool-touch plastic grips make them easy to handle
- Drip Tray - The dishwasher-safe drip tray collects excess fat and grease so you don’t have to. How nice is that
- Drip Tray - The dishwasher-safe drip tray collects excess fat and grease so you don’t have to. How nice is that?
If you’re looking for an easy-to-clean grill for your apartment balcony, the George Foreman 5-Serving Removable Plate Grill is a great option. The removable grill plates make it easy to pop the grill into the dishwasher after use, and the premium ceramic coating is five times more durable than standard nonstick coatings. The sloped grilling surface also helps remove up to 42% of fat from meats, making it a great option for those who are looking to eat healthier meals.
Best Fold-up BBQ Grill – Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
- GRILLING POWER: Up to 20,000 total BTUs
- 3 ADJUSTABLE BURNERS: With improved burner technology for more precise temperature control
- LARGE GRILLING AREA: 285 sq. inches
- EASY SETUP: Sturdy quick-fold legs and wheels
- THERMOMETER: Integrated design for accurate temperature monitoring
Coleman is a trusted brand name in outdoor gear, and their RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill is a great choice for residents with large balconies or rooftop set ups. This grill offers up to 20,000 total BTUs of grilling power, with three adjustable burners for precise temperature control.
The large 285 sq. inch grilling area can accommodate plenty of food, and the integrated thermometer ensures accurate temperature monitoring. The push-button ignition makes starting the grill easy, and the fuel-efficient design means you can use just one 16.4 oz. propane cylinder (sold separately). Coleman backs this grill with a 3-year limited warranty.
Best Mini Gas Grill – Cuisinart CGG-608 Small Gas Grill
- One 10,000 BTU Burner
- 176 Square Inch Cooking Surface
- Easy twist start ignition; Lid has built-in temperature gauge
- High-end stainless steel cooking grate
- Works with a 1 lb. propane canister (not included)
If you’re looking for the best gas grill for a patio, large balcony or rooftop, the Cuisinart CGG-608 Portable, Professional Gas Grill is a great option. It has one 10,000 BTU burner and a 176 square inch cooking surface. The lid has a built-in temperature gauge, and the cooking grate is made of high-end stainless steel. Plus, it works with a 1 lb. propane canister (not included).
Best Charcoal Grill – Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
- 196-SQUARE-INCH CHROME PLATED GRATE: The 196-square-inch chrome plated cooking rack gives a spacious cooking surface is able accommodate lots of food at one time while still distributing heat evenly and efficiently.
- DUAL VENTING SYSTEM: Features a Dual venting system, giving you the ultimate charcoal management and temperature control.
- THREE SECURE LID LOCKS: The grill features three secure lid locks for easy and safe transport.
- COMPACT ENOUGH TO TAKE ANYWHERE: Measures 14 x 14 x 15 inches and weighs only 2 lbs. , making it easy for transport and ideal for decks, patios and balconies, camping, tailgating and more.
- ENAMEL COATED FIREBOX AND ASH CATCHER: Features a durable enamel coated firebox and convenient mess-free ash catcher for safety and ease.
The Cuisinart CCG190RB Inch Portable BBQ Charcoal Grill is a great option for those who want the flavor and atmosphere of grilling with charcoal but don’t have a lot of space. Weighing only 2 pounds, it’s very compact and easy to transport, making it perfect for decks, patios, and large balconies. It also comes with a dual-venting system for temperature control and a durable enamel-coated firebox and ash catcher.
Best Pellet Grill – Traeger Grills Ranger
- Digital Arc Controller
- Advanced Grilling Logic for precise temperature performance
- Easy-to-clean porcelain-coated grill grates & Separate Cast Iron Griddle Included
- Meat Probe
- Keep Warm Mode helps your food to stay warm until you're ready to eat
The Traeger Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill is a great option for those who want the convenience of a gas grill with the flavor of charcoal. This grill is portable, so it can be taken with you on camping trips or to outdoor gatherings, and it has a cast iron griddle for cooking steak or eggs. The grill also has advanced grilling logic for precise temperature performance, as well as a cook timer to let you know when food is ready.
How To Choose The Best Grill for an Apartment
There are a few considerations when choosing the a grill for an apartment or condo unit. Here’s the primary ones to think about.
Type of Grill
The primary consideration will be your lease agreement and fire code regulations for your apartment balcony. Check the lease agreement for a grill usage clause, and check with your building’s fire department to see what types of grills are allowed on balconies.
- An indoor or outdoor electric grill is a good option for those who want to cook their food indoors or in enclosed spaces or on a typical balcony. However, they do not provide the same taste and results as other types of grills (they are more similar to a hot plate), and require you to stay close to them while cooking.
- Gas grills are the most popular type of grill, as they are easy to use and provide great results. However, they can be expensive to operate, as you need to purchase propane tanks to fuel them.
- Tabletop grills are inexpensive to purchase, but they do take up a lot of counter space when in use. They are good for grilling smaller amounts of food, but are not very powerful or efficient when compared to other types of grills.
- Charcoal grills are also popular, as they offer great flavor and can be relatively inexpensive. However, they can be messy and difficult to use, and can take longer to cook food than other types of grills.
- Portable grills are a good option for those who want the flexibility to take their grill with them on trips. However, they are not the best option for high-temperature cooking, and can be expensive to operate.
Some apartments want no open flames, which rules out gas and charcoal, but will still allow conduction grills like a George Foreman grill.
You need to determine the best location for your grill on your balcony. You always want to ensure that odors or smoke don’t get into your neighbor’s apartment, so you’ll need to place the grill away from other balconies and windows. Be sure you are abiding by fire code & all regulations.
Also consider where you will be cooking food. If there are trees or bushes that could produce a lot of smoke, you might want to keep your grill away from them.
If the apartment below you has a patio or balcony, placing the grill over it will allow grease to drip onto it. You may have to place your grill on bricks so that the grease drips underneath it instead, and doesn’t create a grease fire.
Size of Grill
Appropriate grill size will vary depending upon the type of grill you choose and your balcony size. Tabletop grills with their compact size are great for small patios, but a larger gas grill is better for a wide balcony with plenty of space.
Decide how much cooking space you need, and buy a grill that best fits your needs.
If you have a medium to large size balcony, you’ll need some sort of storage for your grill. Many grills come with built-in stand and fold down shelves that make them easy to store.
You may also be able to buy a rack or cabinet to place your grill in when it is not in use. This will help to keep it out of the way, and will prevent people or children from touching it.
Grills can be very expensive, however there is always a wide range of prices based on features and quality.
When it comes to selecting the best grill for your balcony, you’ll need to determine how much you can spend. Remember that grills are an investment, and you will get many years of use out of them. Also consider buying a grill cover to protect it from the elements.
As long as you purchase a gas or charcoal grill that meets the safety requirements of the apartment complex, you should have no problem grilling your favorite foods.
Different grills have useful features like a warming rack, fold down shelves and built-in stands help to save space, and grills with covers can be stored out of sight.
Look at the different add-ons and how they might fit & work in a small space.
Type of Food
You’ll need to decide on the type of food you like to cook.
Some people like traditional grills that use charcoal, while others prefer gas for its ease and convenience.
If you want flexible cooking options, a grill with multiple burners might work best. Having two or three burners will allow you to control the heat more effectively, and will allow you to cook a wider variety of foods.
If you want to smoke your food, a charcoal grill is the best option for you. Gas grills will not give you this flavor or provide the smoky taste that some people love.
FAQs about Grills & Apartments
Here are some frequently asked questions about grills, apartments, and cooking.
Can you grill in an apartment?
Is a charcoal grill considered an open fire?
Charcoal grills are indirectly heated by burning the charcoal. The grill cooks from the radiant heat of the glowing charcoal rather than from directly being exposed to an open flame, as with a gas grill or wood-fired grill. So yes, a charcoal grill is considered an open fire.
Can I grill in front of my apartment?
Yes, you can grill in front of your apartment as long as you follow the proper safety precautions and make sure it does not violate any common area rules. Make sure to keep the grill a safe distance from your building, and never leave it unattended.
Can I have a barbecue on my balcony?
That depends on the size of your balcony (can you be further than 10 ft from combustible material), material (is it wood or combustible), whether it is overhanging anything, and whether the property owner or condo association bylaws allow it.
Can you grill on your front porch?
Yes, you can grill on your front porch as long as it is a safe distance from any buildings or other combustible materials. The best option for grilling on a front porch is a tabletop grill because it doesn’t take up much space and it’s easy to move around. If you don’t have a tabletop grill, then consider using a portable grill that you can take with you when you go camping or picnicking. If neither of those options are available, then a charcoal grill would be the next best option. Just make sure to keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house and other structures.
How do you hide a charcoal grill?
There are several ways to hide your charcoal grill. Hiding the grill in the corner of your patio is one option, or it can be covered with a plastic tablecloth, sheet, or grill cover. You can also cover the grill with a hedge or some other plant, but be careful to not damage the grill by trying to force it in too close.
To state the obvious, it’s one thing to hide a legal charcoal grill for aesthetics and another thing to hide an illegal grill from a property manager or code enforcement. Storing a charcoal grill on a balcony where it is not allowed due to fire code is really not cool. Don’t do it.
Why do apartments not allow grills?
Most apartments do not allow grills due to National Fire Protection Association official fire code. Now, there are exceptions due to size and distance from combustible materials, but that’s mostly rare.
Why are charcoal grills often banned?
Charcoal grills are banned because they produce smoke that is not healthy; they left ash residue; they have no “off” switch like a gas or electric grill, so they have a risk of unattended fire.
So Why Are They Banned Under Fire Code, Again?
Here’s an infographic from the NFPA illustrating why the fire code rules on grills exist.
Best Grill for an Apartment Balcony – Next Steps
Choosing the best grill for your apartment balcony can be daunting. There are so many options to choose from and it’s not easy knowing which one will work best in a small space or if you need something that is portable, table top, charcoal or gas. Take some time to weigh what features matter most to you before making your final decision on the type of grill that works best for your needs!