Equipment Best Small Grills for Smaller Apartments and Balconies

Best Small Grills for Smaller Apartments and Balconies

In this guide, we review the best small grills for those who don’t need a huge outdoor cooker. We have options for gas, charcoal and electric, so if you live where there’s strict fire control regulations, there’s still a model here for you!

Having a large grill in a small backyard or a condo simply isn’t realistic. Fortunately, there’s a range of excellent small grills available on the market, perfect for any city dweller who’d like to enjoy grilling in their own space.

In today’s article, we’re going to reveal the best small grill for anyone living in a small space. But, before we get into the grills, we’re going to take you through a thorough guide on how to select the right grill for you.

To help you out, we’re also going to go over a few rules and regulations of grilling in small or shared spaces and urban environments.

Bottom Line up Front: The Best Small Grills Reviewed in this Guide

The above links take you to current prices, customer reviews, and further information on Amazon.

Buying Guide – Finding the Best Small Grill for You

Before we dive head-first into our favorite small grills, we’re going to quickly cover some things you should consider before settling on a model.

Size and FootPrint

The size of the grill is an essential consideration. Don’t think you can squeeze a large grill into a small space — it’s impractical and dangerous.

Before buying, measure the space you have and consider how many people will be around the grill.

A useful way to ensure the size is right for your space is to cut out the grill’s footprint from cardboard. This will help you to determine if the size is practical and safe in the area.

Materials and Build Quality

No one wants to buy a piece of junk knowingly, but it often happens by accident, especially if you’re unsure what makes a good grill.

Here are a few things you should ask yourself:

  • How frequently will the grill be in use?
  • What weather will it be exposed to?
  • Will you store it indoors or outdoors?

If you’re planning on grilling often, you need a grill that can keep up with frequent usage. That means it has to have reliable parts made of durable material that is well put-together.

If you are storing the grill outdoors, consider rust-resistant materials.

What Fuel Does it Use?

Weber go anywhere grill cooking meat and peppers, with a someone helping themselves to food

Homeowners with big yards and designated outdoor cooking areas often don’t have to rethink the type of fuel their grill uses.

However, if you’re planning on using your grill in a small yard or balcony, it’s important to be aware of what is allowed and what isn’t.

Charcoal

Due to the risk of fires from unextinguished coals, charcoal isn’t allowed in most condo and apartment buildings.

You might prefer the scent and taste of charcoal grills, but it’s crucial to do your research before purchasing a charcoal grill.

Propane

Propane, also known as liquid propane gas (LPG), will enable you to cook over an open flame but without the need to extinguish a solid fuel, such as charcoal.

Propane comes in tanks that you attach to your propane grill — they’re available in a range of sizes, which is very convenient in compromised spaces or for camping.

In saying that, the tanks should be stored properly when not in use. Some regions have very strict rules on how LPG tanks should be stored.

Natural Gas

Natural gas grills aren’t a common choice for small spaces, but it’s highly convenient when available. It’s not suitable for balcony use, but if you have a small yard in your townhouse, it could certainly work.

Make sure you hire a gas fitter with the right certifications in your area. You should also check our guide on the best natural gas grills to help you find the right for you.

Electricity

Electric grills are often the last choice on any grill-enthusiasts list, but it’s actually the best and safest choice for apartment or condo owners. It’s also often the only option that’s allowed in these settings.

Although you won’t be grilling over an open fire, you still get to cook outdoors — you can easily achieve grill marks!

Before you head out to buy an electric grill, you must make sure you have an outlet available close to where the grill will stay. You can use an extension cord to plug it into an outlet further away; however, this will become a tripping hazard. Electric grills will become just as hot as any other grill so that it can leave a nasty burn.

Shelves, Tool Hooks and Workspace

Consider the space you have around the grill — is there room for a table or other place to put down utensils, sauces, spices, and the food before it goes onto the grill?

If you don’t have any nearby table or place to store your necessities, consider buying a grill with storage shelves or hooks.

Stand

If you already have a suitable place to put your new grill — it should be solid and not flammable — a stand may not be needed.

On the other hand, if you have a compromised space, you might want to consider a self-supporting grill. It must be sturdy and not easy to tip over.

If you need to be able to move it around a lot, look for wheels to make it easier. Small grills may be small in size, but they can be heavy.

Features and Accessories

When buying a small grill, don’t expect it to have as many accessories as larger models. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get any perks.

Consider how you’re going to use your grill.

Are you just going to flip a few burger patties during the weekend? In which case, accessories such as hooks and shelves aren’t as necessary.

But, if you’re going to cook larger cuts or a variety of foods, having hooks to store your utensils is handy.

Find a grill that suits your needs, but if it includes more accessories, consider whether or not the grill will fit your space.

Owners Feedback

Knowing what other grillers think of the barbecue you’re considering is useful. One of the easiest ways to get good insights into the grill you want to buy is to check out customer reviews.

However, don’t base your decision entirely on what others have to say. Keep in mind that some people will leave bad reviews due to poor shipping, which rarely reflects the grill’s quality.

Price

Set your budget before shopping. Grills can be expensive, so you want to make sure you look for something within your budget. Consider when you will use it and what you’ll be cooking.

Again, if you’re only planning to cook a few burgers every Sunday afternoon, an expensive, luxurious grill isn’t necessary.

8 of the Best Small Grills Available Today

The following grills have been selected by fuel type — we want to include a little of everything to help you out even more if you already know which type you’re going for.

No more distractions, here are the four best small grills.

Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill

Top Pick
  • Portable propane grill ideal for tailgating, picnicking, and camping
  • Delivers 20,000 BTUs of heat across 285 square inches of grilling surface
  • Swaptop interchangeable cooktops allow you to switch grill grates out for griddle and stove grates (sold separately)
  • Instastart button ignites grill without the need for a match or lighter
  • Collapsible design is easy to transport and fits into most car trunks

There was a time when no self-respecting camper went into the woods without a Coleman stove. That time may be back.

For such a small gas grill (285 square inches of cooking space), the LXE is both powerful and versatile.

Boasting twin burners, with push-button ignition, they combine for 20,000 BTUs of heat. You can sear over high heat on one cast iron grate and finish over lower heat on the other. (You can also purchase separate griddle and stove-style grates.)

Amazingly for a portable, you get two slide-away side tables for holding cooked or ready-to-cook food and condiments, plus three hooks for hanging utensils. Best of all, the whole grill, stand and all, folds down.

The stand turns into a towing handle and wheels, and the lid clasps shut. Time to roll out to your next adventure!

Not only is it great for camping and RVing, but it’s also brilliant for picnics, tailgating, or kids’ sports tournaments.

Pros

  • 2 burners for more cooking options
  • 2 shelves for workspace and 3 hooks
  • More power than most portable grills
  • Folds down for easy transport
  • Stand doubles as rolling cart

Cons

  • Lid not high enough for larger cuts of meat when closed
  • Some very tall people report the handle is too low for comfort

If cooking away from home is a regular event for you, the Coleman RoadTrip LXE propane grill makes the perfect sidekick. It will be the closest you come to owning a Transformer.

Learn more, including how to get yours, with a click on the link:

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Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill

Runner Up
  • Your purchase includes One Weber Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Liquid Propane Grill in Black color
  • Grill dimensions: Lid Open - 57"H x 48"W x 26"D. Lid Closed - 44.5"H x 48"W x 27"D. Each cooking grate is 10.16” x 17.5", for a combined measurement of approximately 20.32" x 17.5"
  • Propane gas grill works with Standard 20 lb LP tank.
  • Features: Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates, porcelain-enameled lid, iGrill 3 compatible (accessory sold separately), Built-in lid thermometer, Fold-down left side table, Open cart design, Fuel gauge, Stainless steel heat deflector, Panel frame
  • Two burner grill is built to fit small spaces, and packed with features such as the powerful GS4 grilling system

Have you noticed the grills getting bigger all the time?

If you’re a casual backyard cook who doesn’t want an outdoor kitchen, or if you’ve got a small household, all you need is a compact barbecue. But, you may think you have to give up all the premium features when you go small. The Weber Spirit II E-210 disagrees.

This compact grill (360 square inches of cooking space) has the power and room to cook up all your faves: steak, chops, burgers, veggies, fish, whole chicken, and more. And it does it with a tight footprint of about 4’ x 2.5’. But, you still get a host of premium features.

The steel box and lid are virtually identical to Weber’s more expensive Genesis and Summit series grills. You also get porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates, and flavorizer bars to both protect the stainless steel burners and convert drippings to flavor-enhancing smoke and steam.

Convenience features include dual side shelves (one folding), a lower storage shelf, a front-accessed drip pan, and a mounting bracket for Weber’s iGrill3 system.

iGrill is an add-on device for monitoring your cook. It accepts up to four meat probes and transmits data to your smartphone via a free, proprietary app.

This is big league stuff and can really help you up your grilling game.

Pros

  • Quality workmanship and materials
  • Lots of work/storage space
  • Premium features, including cast iron grates and flavorizer bars
  • iGrill3-ready for remote monitoring
  • Propane fuel gauge included

Cons

  • Higher price than average for a 2-burner grill
  • Tiny upper warming rack

If you want to invest in a barbecue that you want to last and bring you great enjoyment, look no further. This is one of the very best 2-burner gas grills on the market.

Get to know the Weber Spirit II E-210 gas grill (and get one for yourself) at this link:

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Kamado Joe Junior Grill

Premium Pick
  • Premium 13.5" Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Stand
  • Thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature
  • Cast-iron air vent for temperature control
  • 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grate
  • Built-In Temp Gauge

Kamado-style grills are usually pretty grand in size; however, there are excellent smaller options available, including this from Kamado Joe.

Kamado Joe offers three different size grills, including the Big Joe, the Classic, and the Junior. Joe Junior is a compact kamado-style grill that can easily fit on any small patio or balcony but still has room to cook for a couple or small family.

The overall cooking surface is 148.5 square inches of cooking space, which may sound small, but it’s ample for four patties or two steaks.

If you prefer to do low and slow cooking, this type of grill is ideal. The grill’s depth enables you to get lots of fuel packed in there — and it’s excellent for roasting a chicken or even a turkey.

The Classic Joe is a temptation, as you do get an extra 108-square-inch of cooking surface, but it’s cumbersome, coming in at 188 pounds — which is 120 pounds more than the Junior. If you’re planning on moving it around, stick with the Junior and save your back.

What we love about Kamado Joe is that the grills are incredibly versatile. You can grill anything from quick burgers and dogs to cooking chicken or turkey low n slow-style. Grillers even report success of cooking a small brisket or ribs on a kamado grill.

Now, the Junior isn’t the most affordable option on the market, but you do get your penny’s worth. It comes with a built-in thermometer, ceramic heat deflector, ash tools, high-grade stainless steel grates, and grill gripper.

Furthermore, it’s an incredibly durable and well-built grill that was designed to last you a lifetime.

Is this the grill for you? If you’re a versatile griller who likes to experiment with new methods, this grill is undoubtedly for you. But if you want something simple, your money is probably best spent elsewhere.

Overall dimensions in inches (WxDxH): 16 x 22 x 20.75 inches (without stand)

Pros

  • Extrememly Versatile: You can grill, smoke, bake, and roast.
  • Rugged build quality with lifetime warranty on ceramics.
  • Well insulated, highly efficient, saves fuel and money on fuel over time
  • Very even coking for great results.
  • Ash collection and removal tray at bottom makes it easy to clean.

Cons

  • Pricy compared to other grills of this size.
  • Ceramic can be considered fragile…definitely do not knock it over!

If you’re curious to know more, here’s the link:

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Fuego Element F21C

Recommended
  • 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

If you need a grill to fit in a very compact space, but you don’t want to compromise real flames or enough room to cook for four people, this futuristic-looking grill is for you. The Fuego Element F21C is a super cool-looking grill designed by a former Apple Chief Designer, which is why it looks nothing like other grills.

The grill is powered by a liquid propane gas tank, which is hidden by the cylindrical shape. Overall, the grill measures 21 by 21 inches, including the wheels, and it gives you an ample 346 square inches of cooking space.

Due to the circular burners and lid design, this grill can actually reach an impressive 500 degrees Fahrenheit in about 5 minutes. The grill enables you to create two temperature zones, so you can use one side to sear and the other to finish the cook, similar to larger grills.

It’s a heavy grill — the grate alone is made of cast iron and weighs 15 pounds. But, it will hold up to frequent use, that’s for sure.

If you’re worried about the weight, the wheels will ease your mind — they definitely make it easier to move around. Because the tank is inside the cylindrical stand, you won’t have to worry about wires or gas lines, so you’re free to move it around as needed.

You get various handy tools such as a grease tray and a built-in thermometer. Although the lid isn’t hinged, it does sit neatly on the grill or hang from either handle.

An attached worksurface would have been an excellent addition, but it probably would detract from the aesthetics, and it would add in size.

Overall, this grill is an excellent option for anyone with an indeed compromised space. It’s high-quality and looks very stylish. Although it’s small, it’s more than enough to feed a small family.

Overall dimensions in inches (WxDxH): 21 x 21 x 46 inches

Pros

  • High build quality so should stand the test of time.
  • Heats quickly and holds it well, so good in windy weather.
  • A small grill, but with decent cooking surface area.
  • Easy to clean.
  • It’s a nice, desirable looking grill!

Cons

  • Not the cheapest grill on this list.
  • A lack of workspace / shelves / storage for tools and accessories.

Click the link below for more details:

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Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Gas Grill

Recommended

  • Square shape makes it easy to pack and take travelling
  • Large enough for 2-zone cooking (indirect roasting, and high heat gilling.)
  • Well known, reliable Weber build quality.
  • Top and bottom vents allow for precise temperature control
  • Push button ignition.
  • Steel legs fold up to lock lid in place for trasnport.

When it comes to portable grilling, this clever unit from Weber redefines “convenient.” If you literally want to grill anywhere, this is your barbecue.

Weighing around 10 pounds, you can easily take the Go-Anywhere camping, canoeing, RVing, tailgating, or picnicking. The plated steel legs fold up and over the lid to lock it in place for safe transport.

It’s a liquid propane gas grill, running on handy, disposable LPG cylinders, so there’s no messing around with charcoal. You won’t even need a match, thanks to the push-button ignition.

Under the lid, there’s a 160 square inch cooking surface made of porcelain-enameled steel.

There are no holes down the center of the grate, preventing grease from dripping onto the burner and causing a flare-up.

The burner cranks out 6,500 BTUs – that may not sound impressive, but over such a small space, it’s plenty for cooking all your favorite camping food.

Bear in mind, this is a very small grill and not meant for family reunions! You’ll never cook more than a handful of burgers or dogs, or a pair of steaks at a time, or perhaps that smallmouth bass you’re going to hook later.

Pros

  • Easy, push-button ignition
  • Uses portable LPG cylinders
  • Fold-up legs lock lid in place for transport
  • Durable porcelain-enameled lid and body
  • No messy charcoal to deal with

Cons

  • Small cooking surface
  • No grease management system

Quick, convenient grilling anywhere you care to go – that’s a better choice than cold sandwiches all weekend!

If you love to get out of town on a regular basis, you should bring the Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Propane Grill with you. Inspect pics and specs and availability info here:

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Char-Broil Electric Patio Bistro 240

Recommended
  • 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

Yes, an electric grill isn’t the first choice for any griller, but in some cases, it’s the only option you have. For this reason, we prefer the Char-Broil Patio Bistro — despite being electric, it does offer you surprising versatility.

You get a range of nice features with this grill, such as a hinged lid, built-in thermometer, and even a top rack for indirect cooking or when you need to keep food warm.

It features a wire rack integrated with the stand as well as two work surfaces on either side of the grill. Each worksurface can be folded down when not in use, saving you space.

The grate is made of porcelain-coated cast iron, and it provides you with 240 square inches of cooking surface — excluding the upper rack.

According to Char-Broil, you should be able to fit a dozen burgers at once — but I’m not so sure about that, maybe if they’re small. In saying that, it’s a great size for a compact grill.

Now, what cooks your burgers are what’s really interesting — this electric grill is fitted with an infrared heating element that heats rapidly and gives you an even temperature throughout the cooking surface.

To keep the mess at a minimum, the large drip pan will catch any grease that inevitably rolls off the food.

Operating the grill is also super simple as it only features a single control knob and a light-up display to help you see during dark hours.

Honestly, it’s challenging to find anything wrong with this grill — it isn’t a traditional grill, and it won’t give you smoke. But for an electric unit, it’s pretty darn good!

It’s also available in three different colors, including red, black and graphite.

Overall dimensions in inches (WxDxH): 39.8 x 25.6 x 39.8 inches.

Pros

  • Electric – So no fussing with gas or charcoal
  • Side shelves for workspace while grilling
  • Wheels make it highly maneuverable
  • Built in thermometer is a nice touch
  • Good temperature range
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Loses heat quickly if the lid is left open
  • Can be slow compared to others when it comes to reaching required cooking temps.

Feeling electrified? Check out this link:

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Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Charcoal Grill

Recommended
  • Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • Durable plated steel cooking grate retains heat and is easy to clean. Dimensions - Lid closed 17 H x 14.2 W x 14.5 D inches

One of the beauties of charcoal grills is you can do it anywhere. No lugging a propane tank, and no need for electricity. The Weber Smokey Joe is a go (almost) anywhere grill that cooks like a full-size kettle.

Like the full-size Weber kettle grills, the Smokey Joe is made from porcelain-enameled steel. It wipes clean easily, looks good, and it’s highly resistant to rust and heat damage. The two dampers are rust-resistant, too. Clearly, this grill is designed for life outdoors.

Back to the dampers for a minute – with both an upper and a lower damper, you have total control over airflow. That means you can adjust the temperature up and down, just like on a full-size charcoal grill. You’ll be able to do so much more than just cook up a few burgers or dogs.

Why not cook your catch of the day, or bring along a small roast or some chicken pieces? You aren’t limited, just because you’re not at home.

Actually, you are a bit limited when it comes to space. The cooking surface is just 147 square inches, enough for maybe 6 burgers or 3 steaks.

I’ve seen warming racks this big on some backyard grills. But, the point is this is a portable grill, so you have to be ready to give up some space and perhaps cook in shifts.

Pros

  • Light and compact for easy transport
  • Weber quality in a portable grill
  • Rust- and burn-resistant porcelain-enameled steel
  • Top and bottom vents for total temperature control
  • Ash pan for handy clean-up

Cons

  • Basic steel wire cooking grate
  • Very small cooking area

If you love to grill, and want to enjoy an authentic BBQ experience away from home, forget those disposable foil “grills.”

For a modest investment, you can have a true charcoal grill to enjoy again and again.

This is a sweet little grill, and we love it. For more pics and videos, and purchase information, follow the link:

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George Foreman GFO3320 Indoor/Outdoor Grill

Recommended
  • 15+ Servings - It’s barbecue time! The 240 square inches of circular grilling surface lets you make over 15 servings for large groups of people
  • Apartment-Approved - Your landlord will love this grill just as much as you do. The fully electric system gives you high-quality grilling with no charcoal, no propane, and no flare-ups
  • Adjustable Temperature Control - Perfect heat is the secret ingredient. The temperature probe lets you choose from five heat settings to get the best results on any kind of food
  • Temperature Gauge - No more guessing games. The temperature gauge on the grill cover gives an accurate heat reading so you can guarantee awesome results

If you live in a highly restricted area where gas and charcoal grills plain simply aren’t optional, this electric grill is one of the best choices you can make.

I’ve tested this George Foreman grill several times, and I must say, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s an electric grill, so you shouldn’t expect the same results as you would get on a smoker. But, for grilling a few burgers, sausages and vegs, it’s not bad at all.

It’s basically a GF grill on a stand. You can remove it from the stand and place it on a tabletop if you’re grilling indoors — this also makes it easy to pack up if you’re going camping.

We like the non-stick ceramic coating, the even heat distribution, and it’s a breeze to clean. You get 240 square inches of cooking surface, which is excellent for a small family.

Another thing we like is that you get full control over the heat, and you can keep an eye on the temperature with the built-in thermometer.

The grill is designed to divert drippings and grease away from the meat. It conveniently flows towards a few holes in the center where it falls into a drip tray. It won’t give you any smokey flavor, but the holes prevent your meat from frying in its fat — which is nice.

Although it isn’t traditional barbecuing, it also doesn’t pretend to be a “real” barbecue. But, for anyone who simply can’t use traditional grills, this is one of the best options.

Overall dimensions in inches (WxDxH): 20 x 19.5 x 11 inches (without stand)

Pros

  • Can be used indoors and out.
  • Drains fat away from foods for a healthier end product
  • The stand is removable, resulting in your typical looking George Foreman grill to use on tabletops.
  • Non-stick and easy to clean.
  • Cooking capacity for 15 people.

Cons

  • Uses a lot of electricity.
  • The stand isn’t the best we’ve seen, and many people simply remove it.

Get more info right here:

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Conclusion

As you can see, no matter how or where you live, there’s a grill option for you.

We did find that the best small charcoal grill is the Kamado Joe Junior since it does give you lots of versatility to cook nearly any type of meat as long as it fits.

But, due to restrictions in certain areas, a charcoal grill isn’t an option — for this, we highly recommend the Coleman Road Trip we’ve reviewed here. Though if gas grills are also restricted where you live, one of the electric options is your last resort!

Now, before you head out to buy your new small grill, consider where it will be, how it will be used, and how it will suit you and your needs. Frankly, it should be a crime not to have a grill, even if it means having a George Foreman in your kitchen!

If you have any grill-enthusiast in your life who also lives in a small space, do share this article so they can find a suitable grill as well.

As always, we’d like to hear from you, whether it’s a question or a friendly hello, share with us in the comment section.

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Hi! My name is David and I'm the founder and primary writer for this site. I have been an avid grilling and barbecue enthusiast for over 9 years now and I started this website to share my knowledge and experience with those looking to get into this fun and tasty hobby.

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