What’s the most special thing about owning an outdoor grill?
The flavor is obviously important, and grilling can impart a unique flavor that isn’t possible with other common cooking methods.
Convenience is another factor. You can fire up your grill and cook a wonderful meal in a matter of minutes.
If you love steaks, chops, chicken, or even hot dogs and sausages, it’s easy to cook them perfectly on your grill.
Another key aspect of owning a grill is the freedom that it provides.
Cooking outdoors, even when it’s on a patio, a balcony, or in your back yard, gives you a sense of freedom that you won’t experience in your kitchen.
For many people, it’s a relaxing and even therapeutic activity.
Standing over the grill and watching your recipes take shape is quite special. And then there’s the aroma.
Nothing beats the smell of food cooking on the grill!
If you live in an apartment or condo, or if you have a balcony attached to your house, you may have even thought about cooking there.
You’ve probably wondered: is it safe to BBQ on a balcony? The short answer is that it depends.
Cooking on a balcony isn’t quite as straightforward as cooking anywhere else.
You need to be careful to ensure that you are safe and in compliance with all local regulations.
While you can enjoy barbecue balcony nights in the summer, you’ll need to make sure that you do so with the right grill.
You’ll also need to follow some important safety steps.
Don’t worry, because none of it is too complicated, and we’ve broken everything down so that you can enjoy your own little slice of outdoor freedom by cooking on your balcony with a view.
Safety First – Barbecue Balcony Tips
Before you ask is it safe to BBQ on a balcony, you should consider whether it is practical.
Practicality ties directly to safety, so if you’re limited for space, you’ll need to choose the right grill and take some extra steps to ensure that everything goes right for your next outdoor cooking session.
The safety rules for grilling on a balcony are similar to those for cooking anywhere else, with a few exceptions where you need to take a little more care.
Make sure that you have enough space to cook. If you are using a tabletop grill, make sure that your outdoor table is uncluttered.
Keep all combustible materials at least a foot away from the grill.
If you are using a traditional standing grill, it should be kept at least three feet from the outer wall of the building and any other obstacles.
You don’t want to be cooking right next to the balcony railing or any large pieces of outdoor furniture.
If you feel too cramped when cooking on your balcony then the chances are that it’s inherently unsafe. You should choose a grill that is suited to the space you have available.
This could mean downsizing from what you would typically expect to use on a large patio or backyard.
To enjoy a safe and comfortable cooking experience, just follow these barbecue balcony tips:
- Never grill underneath a low-hanging awning or eave, sunshade, or any other type of dangerous covering. This increases the risk of smoke damage, grease build-up, and fire. This affordable Aerosol Extinguisher is a good option.
- Always keep an extinguisher nearby. If your grill gets out of control on a balcony, you’ll need to be able to put it out quickly.
- Keep your grill clean. If you allow grease and debris to build up, you’ll have a higher risk of uncontrolled flare-ups. You should give your grill a thorough clean at the start of every season, and then clean it monthly if you are using it regularly. Treat it like your oven or stovetop. If it looks greasy and dirty, it’s time for cleaning. You can use products like Goo Gone Grill Cleaner and a Grill Cleaning Kit.
- Consider using an electric grill on your balcony. There are no dangerous fumes with an electric grill and it’s easier to turn the grill off in an emergency. There’s also the benefit of having no open flame.
- If you want a traditional grill, avoid charcoal, and go right for gas. Small propane grills are ideal for balconies.
Make sure you also review your grill manual for operating guidelines and troubleshooting instructions.
The more you know about your grill, the safer it will be to use.
Is It Legal to Grill on a Balcony?
Unless there is a specific bylaw in your jurisdiction or rules set by the homeowner’s or condo association, then it is legal to grill on your balcony. There are some exceptions though.
- It is typically not allowed to use a grill with an open and uncontrolled flame, such as a charcoal grill or wood grill.
- Some homeowner’s and condo associations, or apartment managers, may limit the specific type or size of grill that you can use. Some residential complexes only allow electric grilling on balconies.
If you are unsure, check with your local government, fire department, or homeowner’s association.
What are the Best Types of Grills to Barbecue on a Balcony?
If you’re excited about barbecue balcony nights, you’ll want to start exploring your options for different grills right away.
We’ve talked about the types of grills that should be used on balconies, narrowing the selection down to propane and electric grills. Both have advantages. T
he right one for you depends on your needs and preference.
Electric Grills for Grilling on a Balcony
For safety and convenience, electric grills are best for barbecue balcony nights (or days). There are several advantages provided.
- Electric grills don’t use solid or gas fuel and are more compact relative to the total cooking area.
- Electric grills are inherently safer and can be quickly turned off in an emergency.
- It’s usually easier to clean an electric grill.
- You can use an electric grill indoors, as well as on your balcony.
There are some misconceptions about electric grills. There’s a perception that they aren’t as versatile as gas or charcoal grills and that they don’t cook with the same flavor.
Modern designs have overcome the early challenges of electric grills.
You can still achieve the all-important maillard reaction with electric grills, where your food will react chemically to develop a seared crust that improves the flavor.
There are even electric grill models with exposed cooking elements that will vaporize fat and juices to impart more flavor into your food.If possible, always use an electric grill for your balcony.
You’ll enjoy safety and convenience without compromising flavor.
For a reliable option, consider the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill.This model is designed for serving up to 15 people at a time, depending on ingredients.
It can be used as a tabletop grill or with a stand for a more traditional experience.It has a generous lid for top-down cooking.
It can also be safely used indoors, making it one of the most versatile grills out there.
Propane Grills for Grilling on a Balcony
If you already have a propane grill or if you simply prefer this method for grilling, you can use one on your balcony.
The key is size. Never use a grill that is too big for your balcony and ensure that you have enough space around it, as covered in the previous sections.
- Propane is affordable and convenient.
- It’s very easy to vaporize juices for flavor when you have a propane grill.
- Propane grills are better if you want to cook with indirect heat. You will need at least two burners for this cooking style.
- Propane grills are affordable even when considering some of the top brands.
The downside is that propane will never be as safe as an electric grill, so there’s some trade-off there.
Still, you can enjoy cooking with a gas grill on your balcony as long as you are following our safety steps and the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have the space for it, the Monument 2 Burners Propane Gas Grill with two burners is a good choice for cooking outdoors on a balcony.
The pedestal style is relatively compact and can be used with or without the side shelves.
Like much larger grills, it can be used with a rotisserie device, and the hood and burner layout makes it possible to cook low and slow with indirect heat.
The Bottom Line: Is it Safe to BBQ on a Balcony?
You’ve asked: is it safe to BBQ on a balcony?
We’ve considered the details and found that it is not only possible but also safe to grill on your balcony if you choose the right grill and follow some safety steps.
Keep our tips in mind and enjoy cooking on your balcony. No matter where you live, outdoor grilling is something that everyone should experience and enjoy.