The hood of a grill that is open with food on a rotisserie and grill being cooked on a balcony of an apartment that is overlooking the ocean with text over it that reads, 'Grill Options for Small Backyards & Patios'.

Grill Options for Small Backyard Spaces

Everyone deserves to have a sizzling spring and summer no matter what size backyard they have. Have a smaller backyard, a patio, a balcony in an apartment, or maybe only have access to a shared community space if you live in a place like a condo? At BBQ Outlets it doesn’t matter. We have helpful tips for how exactly you can successfully and safely achieve your own slice of paradise.

Design your perfect oasis with our small propane grill recommendations or an electric grill or portable grill. Set up your space to be the ultimate hub of entertainment with our free expert design services.

Get ready now for a spring and summer filled with lots of fun, laughter, and barbecue.

How to Grill When You Live in an Apartment or Have A Small Outdoor Space

First thing’s first–make sure you read up on your individual building’s fire code and guidelines. Each company sets its own rules. The city and state you live in may also have their own individual guidelines that need to also be followed.

People grilling during the evening on a rooftop balcony while talking and smiling and drinking and eating burgers.

Many apartments or condominium complexes only allow certain types of grills and specific sizes. Open-flame grills are generally prohibited and not ideal for a more compact area that would be used for outdoor cooking. If you don’t have a communal space where there are grills and you are allowed to have your own on a patio or balcony, make sure there is always enough room around the grill and that it is away from any walls, structural supports, or debris like branches or leaves that could easily catch fire and spread.

If you are living in a building that has a common area that includes grills, there are a few general rules of thumb that should be followed to ensure that everyone has the best time possible.

  • Be Aware of Others–Obviously when living in a building with multiple units, and when the weather starts to turn nicer, everyone will want to venture to the communal outdoor space. Naturally, others will also want to gather to enjoy the grills, so make sure you’re not staying there for 3 or 4 hours, while someone else is patiently waiting. Your building may even have a specific sign-up sheet online or at the grill, so double-check before heating up the grill. Besides, who knows what could happen if you’re courteous of others? You might even make a new BBQ Buddy and could share your best grilling tips and tricks with each other like how to grill the perfect steak.
  • Watch for Smoke and Flare-Ups–If the grill starts to get too hot the chance of more smoke being produced is likely and could be bothersome to any neighbors that may face the communal space and have their windows open for some fresh air. It could also blow in the direction of those lounging nearby and cause many to become unhappy. To avoid smoke build-up and flare-ups as well from any fat drippings, try using a piece of tinfoil under the food you’re cooking.
  • Clean The Grill and Space!–Again with keeping the theme of being respectful for your fellow barbecue enthusiast, you should always make sure the grill and the area you used to prepare the food and enjoy your meal are all cleaned up and properly wiped down. To save on cleaning time, clean as you go and right after you are done with the grill so that anyone nearby who wants to use it next after you is able to immediately do so. Of course, especially with how much our world has changed in recent years, make sure to wipe down all touchpoints too – like the handle, knobs, counter space, and outside of the grill.

Our 5 Best Small Propane Grills

We rounded up our top five picks (in no particular order) of the best small propane grills that would be ideal – especially as a small grill – for a balcony or patio:

  • Fire Magic’s Aurora A430S Freestanding Propane Grill – This grill measures in at 24 inches and comes with an integrated analog thermometer. The Aurora series of grills by Fire Magic are known for being made with the utmost quality in mind. Featuring 304-grade stainless steel composition, diamond sear cooking grids, and hot surface ignition, there is nothing about this grill that we do not enjoy.
  • Fire Magic’s Aurora A4301 Built-In Propane Gas Grill – Similar to the previous grill also by the notable brand, Fire Magic, this grill which is also in their Aurora series, matches many of the features of the free-standing grill. The difference? Make this a statement piece on its own by placing it in the center of your bar on your patio.
  • DCS Series 9 Built-In Propane Side Burner – Perhaps you only want an additional side burner for your smaller space – the DCS Series 9 Built-In Propane Side Burner is the perfect choice to do just that. Measuring at 14 inches, the outer parts of the burner are also made from 304 stainless steel like the Fire Magic grills. Where each burner itself is constructed with cast brass so that there is continual heat protection and you can enjoy it for a lifetime. 
  • Blaze Prelude LBM Series Freestanding Gas Grill – For another option for a freestanding grill, may we suggest another premium brand to purchase – Blaze. This grill measures in at 25 inches and includes 3 burners that have a push-and-turn flame thrower ignition so a flame is guaranteed each time. Just like the others, this is also made from 304-grade stainless steel materials and features a hardy cooking grid that is perfect for searing various foods. 
  • Fire Magic’s Choice Series On Patio Post Propane Grill –  While you can choose the exact kind of configuration you want in our drop-down menu, this particular one is for it to be on a patio post. This is a perfect option for those who have a small patio and may be struggling to come up with where to place a grill outside. The grill itself measures in at 24 inches and also features the same 304 stainless steel quality of the others, as well as a unique one-hour gas shutoff timer that helps prevent fire hazards or high gas expenses. 

The Hottest BBQ Patio Ideas for Small Spaces

While there are some incredible small propane grills, we also offer electric grills and portable grills. These can be an even better option in some cases because just like a couple of outdoor griddles we offer, you can also take these to other events or places. All around, investing in a small grill or griddle – especially one that is easily accessible and movable – is a purchase everyone wishes they would have made sooner. 

Outdoor pizza oven with logs on fire in the very back of it and two thin crust homemade pizzas cooking in the front of the oven.

Maybe you really want to impress your future guests with an outdoor pizza oven. If you have a patio that’s open, this would be another great option for a fun thing to add to your luxury kitchen. Everyone will see that you can create the perfect paradise no matter the amount of available space.


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