Can You Have a Small Grill When You Live in an Apartment?

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There is nothing like being able to grill up some food anytime you want during the week. What if you live in an apartment? The rules vary when you don’t own your own home. This leads to the question, “can you have a small grill when you live in an apartment?”

The answer is it depends on what is in your lease agreement. You should reach out to your apartment manager and ask the details on what is allowed in terms of being able to grill. There are reasons for whether or not you can or cannot have a grill such as fire hazard issues.

For example, in our apartment complex, only tenants that live on the bottom floor are allowed to own a BBQ grill.

If you live on the second floor, you are not allowed to grill as it is a fire hazard due to the wooden frame on the patios.

This is why it is important to ask your apartment manager what the rules are in your complex when it comes to grilling.

What is the Best BBQ Grill to Have in an Apartment Complex That Allows Them?

After you find out for certain that you are allowed to grill at your apartment complex, you’ll want to figure out the type of grill to buy.

The size of your grilling space will determine the size grill you should consider buying. Some apartment patios are tiny.

It’s probably a good idea to measure the entire patio area. You don’t want a grill that is too large and make it cumbersome to walk freely.

You can get grill size dimensions online for most brands of grills or if you plan on buying your grill from a particular online store.

Too large a grill can also make it difficult to move it around. A moderate-sized grill is ideal so that you have room for other things you’ll need such as a side table, chairs, etc.

Portable Grills

A portable grill can work in any size space. Think along the lines of hibachi style grills. They are small and portable.

What is great about portable grills for apartment living is that you can take them with you to other locations such as the beach or the park.

They don’t take up any space at all and they are easier to clean because of their small size.

Another plus is that they are extremely affordable in comparison to larger grills. If for some reason you need to replace it, you don’t have to stress about the price.

The only downside is if you plan on having guests over, the small surface area of a hibachi grill doesn’t allow you to grill a lot of food.

You’ll have to grill small batches of food at a time. Get an early start before guests arrive and a hibachi will work out well.

Since they are small and low to the ground, it is a good idea to place your hibachi on a grill table so that you’re not bending over or squatting to cook your food.

Overall, portable grills are always a good option.

Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

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Charcoal, Pellet, Gas, or Propane?

The next thing to consider is whether you want a charcoal, pellet, gas, or propane grill. That is really a matter of preference.

Charcoal grills make it easy to barbeque as charcoal is really easy and convenient to buy from most supermarkets.

Pellet grills are quite popular and wood pellets are easy to find in stores or buy online.

Gas and propane are also options and really has to do a lot with preference. Some people grew up using gas grills or prefer the ease of using gas versus lighting charcoal.

It is also a matter of taste. Charcoal grilled food tastes differently than gas grilled food.

These types of grills can come in various sizes but expect a majority of them to be large. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of patio space, they may not be an option at all.

Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner Cart Style Liquid Propane Gas Grill

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What About Electric Grills?

If grilling isn’t allowed in your apartment complex, you may be able to use an electric grill. Some electric grills can be used indoors and outdoors.

The George Foreman Electric Grill is one such grill that can cook indoors and outdoors.

If you want to use it on your patio, you can still speak with your apartment manager to ensure that it is allowed to use on the patio before investing in one.

Maintaining a Grill While Living in an Apartment

Hibachi grills are really easy to maintain if you go with that option. Anything bigger and you’ll likely need to do a bit more work cleaning your grill.

Grill cleaning supplies may include grill brushes, scrapers, liquid cleaners, and ash vacuums if needed.

How often to clean your grill will depend on how often you use it. 

If you use it once per week then cleaning the grates every two months should suffice and a thorough cleaning twice a grilling season.

A grill cover is also helpful to keep dust and dirt from piling up on your grill.

Tools to Make Grilling in a Small Space Easier

There are certain accessories that you can consider to make grilling in a small space easier.

A Grill Table

These are usually compact in size and some are even foldable. A grill table is great for placing your accessories, utensils, food, and other necessities.

Grill Hooks for Utensils

Hooks for hanging your utensils can save space and make them handy to reach when you need them. You can order magnetic hooks which make them easy to hang around larger grills.

Grill Lighters

Having a grill lighter on hand is always convenient for charcoal grills. These are inexpensive and easier to use than matches.

Closing Thoughts

There is nothing like firing up the grill for your next meal but if you live in an apartment complex, you’ll need to ask your apartment manager before doing so.

Some apartment complexes don’t allow grilling at all or you may have to live on the first floor versus the second. The rules vary so getting the right answer is important.

If you are allowed to grill, consider your patio space before making the investment. Take measurements of your space and check the dimensions of the grill you want to buy.

Portable grills are always a great option. Happy grilling!


Hi! I'm Tina and I like exploring ways to make small apartment living fun and functional. I share products and information that may help others make small apartment living enjoyable. Learn More