Perhaps you love to grill but you only have a small patio or balcony. Are you still able to enjoy your favorite method of cooking? Well, the answer is generally yes, but be sure to check out the rules and regulations of your area or if you’re renting, check with your landlord.
Safety is the most important thing to consider when grilling on your patio. You are in a more enclosed space than if you were in the back yard so certain precautions need to be taken.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Charcoal Grill for a Small Patio
- 2 Best Gas Grill for a Small Patio
- 3 Best Electric Grill for a Small Patio
- 4 Types of Fuel
- 5 Build Quality
- 6 Work Space
- 7 Size
- 8 Budget
- 9 Final Thoughts
Best Charcoal Grill for a Small Patio
Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill
If you have an open patio you could opt for a charcoal grill unless there are rules against using one. This Webber grill is very compact so would suit a small patio. It is just 22 inches wide, but it still has 363 square inches of cooking area. You can cook up to 13 burgers on it in a burger press.
The grill has a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid and a stainless steel cooking grate. It retains the heat well and won’t rust. Still, I would advise putting a cover on it for the winter months.
There are dampers which allow you to control the heat. You don’t even need to open the lid to use them. It also has a heat shield which prevents you from burning your hands on the lid handle.
- Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
- One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl Retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
- Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
It has an ash catcher which makes it easy to clean. This is rust-resistant.
Stability is provided by a triangular stand.
It has wheels so you can move it easily.
It is effective, simple to use and just the right size for a small patio.
There is no thermometer so you won’t know what temperature the grill is at.
There is a small shelf on the bottom of the stand, but no work surface as such.
Best Gas Grill for a Small Patio
Fuego Element F21C Carbon Steel Gas Grill LP
This propane gas grill is very compact at 21″ x 21”, but still has 346 square inches of cooking surface. This is enough space to cook 12 quarter-pound burgers. It is very efficient in that it reaches temperatures of up to 500F within just five minutes.
It has a maximum temperature of 650F which is plenty hot enough to cook your food quickly. The burners are fuel-efficient at 21,000 BTU/hour. Because less fuel is used, the food retains more moisture.
This grill comes with an electronic ignition which makes life simpler, and there is a lid thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature and stop your food from burning. You can cook in two ways; either low and slow cooking or fast and hot grilling.
- Designed in California by former Apple Chief Designer Robert Brunner and winner of Vesta's Best Gas BBQ & Spark Design Award
- Reaching temps of 500F in just 5 mins & up to 650F with a 15lb porcelain-enamel cast iron grate that provides massive heat sink for amazing sear marks
- Compact 21” x 21" footprint perfect for small patio/balcony and 346 sq. in. cooking surface with ability to grill 12 quarter-pound (4 1/2" Dia.) burgers
- Featuring push button electronic ignition, hinged tank storage access door, easy roll mobility, built-in lid thermometer & easy clean residue tray
- Assembly time of less than 30 mins with the use of only 14 screws and 21,000 BTU/hr. burner system good for up to 50 (20 minute) cooking cycles
The concentric circle dual ring burner and the 15-pound grate combine to give your meat excellent searing. Who doesn’t like their food, be it meat or vegetables with nice sear marks?
There is a residue tray underneath the firebox. This captures the grease, making your food grease-free and much healthier.
There is an integrated heat-reflected shield in the hood which helps with slow-cooking.
Locking wheels mean that it is stable wherever you want to put your grill.
The cylinder hides the gas bottle.
There is no work surface.
A few customers have said that it is difficult to assemble this grill.
Best Electric Grill for a Small Patio
Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared Electric Patio Bistro
With this grill, you can cook between 8 and 12 burgers as it has a 240 square inch grilling surface. In addition there is a warming shelf with 80 square inches of space. You can keep burger buns and sides warm while you are cooking the meat or vegetables. You will find that it doesn’t flare-up because of the infrared cooking system. This means that your food will turn out juicy and delicious.
- 240 Square inch grilling surface with 80 Square inch warming rack- 8 to 12 hamburger capacity
- Electric TRU-Infrared cooking system allows you to cook your food evenly with less flare-ups - juicier food, every time
- Porcelain-coated cast iron Premium cooking grates are rust-resistant and easy-to-clean
- Folding side shelves provide plenty of work and prep space
- Features an easy to use temperature control knob, storage rack, cord Management and easy to reach large capacity grease tray
This grill has the advantage of having side shelves so there is plenty of room for you to prepare your food and to stack cooking accessories. The shelves fold down easily when you don’t need them.
The grill is coated in porcelain cast iron which is sturdy and rust-resistant. It is also very easy to clean.
There is an infrared heating element underneath the grate which is operated by a temperature control knob. Below this, you will find a large drip pan which collects any grease from your food.
All you have to do is plug the unit into a standard 120-volt outlet. It’s as simple as that.
The control knob has a lighted display so you can see it even if you’re cooking in the dark.
The heating element reaches temperature very quickly.
The grill has a thermometer.
The grill is quite difficult to assemble.
Types of Fuel
- Charcoal. This isn’t as controllable as gas or electric and shouldn’t be used on a screened porch or balcony. In addition, you need to be careful if you are using a charcoal grill on a wooden deck as embers can scar the wood and worse still, can cause a fire.
- Propane Gas. I use a gas grill on my balcony and so far have had no problems. The advantage of this is that it lets you have an open flame without the danger of putting out a fire. You can get propane gas bottles in different sizes so you should find one that suits.
- Electricity. Perhaps you don’t think of electric grills as the real thing, but you can still get grill marks on your food and you will still be cooking outside. It is a viable option if conventional methods aren’t allowed where you live. However, you do need to make sure that you have a suitable electricity outlet as you don’t want people tripping over the cord and burning themselves.
You will want to choose something that lasts even if it isn’t going to be used as much as a full-size barbecue. Think of what you need before you make your purchase. Consider the weather conditions the grill will be exposed to.
Think about how often you will be grilling. It is also important to consider if the grill will be stored indoors when not being used. This will cut down on weather damage.
If you are working within a small space you will need to consider where you can put the food, utensils, spices and sauces. Is there enough room for a table? If not you are best considering a grill which comes with shelves and hooks.
Size is the most critical factor when looking for a grill for your small patio. There is no point buying a grill that is too big for the space as people might end up rubbing themselves up against a hot grill. Measure your space before buying your grill.
If you only have a small space for your grill, consider how much to spend. If you are going to just grill a few burgers through the summer it’s not worth spending a lot. However, if you intend to do a lot of cooking spend a bit more and get something a little more hard-wearing.
As I have hopefully shown, it’s not impossible to grill even if all you have is a small patio or balcony. All you have to do is check out the rules and regulations where you live to see if you can use your preferred method of fuel.
Safety regulations should be taken seriously when you are cooking in a small space, but if you follow these you should have a great grilling experience.