We recently started seeing the first few glimpses of sun and so, of course, all of London decided it was summer!
Never mind the 8°C temperatures or the intermittent rain, because there’s sunlight and that means shorts, sandals, and sunnies! And what goes well with all those things? A barbecue, of course! A while ago we published a blog about whether or not it’s OK to have a BBQ on your apartment balcony. We made several important points (read them!), most critical of those being that you should be extra careful and have permission from the building owner. So, if you’ve got a balcony and are thinking about getting a barbecue, what is the best grill option available? We’ve searched the for the best BBQs specifically for those with limited balcony space!
While not being especially attractive to look at, this grill comes with several settings, so your BBQ party can offer a wide variety of eats. You can use it as a stove, a grill, or a griddle for all your balcony grub needs. If you get the 400 model, the lid even doubles as a wok for stir-frying. The 400 and 600 models also come with a bag, allowing you to slot it away once you’re done. If that wasn’t tempting enough, it’s incredibly easy to clean due to a water compartment that catches all the grease. That’s a lot to boast about!
There are several models of the Campingaz Party Grill, but for a small space with maximum features, we suggest the 400 model, which you can get for an affordable £80 (give or take). If you have more space and need to cook more at once, you might consider the 600 model, which can range from £150-£220.
With a built-in battery-powered fan to help reach cooking temperature within three and a half minutes, it’s little wonder why this grill won the Red Dot Design award in 2013, among other honours. The fan works like a pair of bellows, forcing cold air over the charcoal to heat it up. It also makes the energy consumption remarkably efficient, as a small handful of charcoal offers up to an hour of grilling time. Possibly most impressively, it’s a smokeless BBQ, so you won’t be annoying your downwind balcony neighbours, except for making them jealous of your steak and burgers.
Once you’re done, just place the parts in the dishwasher and afterwards you can pack it away in the handy bag it comes with. You can check out their instructional video about how to use the grill. The prices of this grill vary but expect to pay between £110 and £130.
Probably one of the simplest examples on this list, and certainly the most space-efficient, the Balcony Barbecue hooks onto the edge of your balcony railing. It can be unhooked for ease of cleaning and transportation, and will allow you to grill a surprising number of sausages at once. That’s pretty much all there is to it barbecue-wise, but once the weather no longer invites balcony parties, you can remove the grill for an ideal place to keep some plants!
The Balcony Barbecue’s simplicity means it’s cheaper than other options – around £44 – and it’s ideal for anyone who is has very limited space on their balcony.
For those of you with a slightly larger balcony – big enough for a table and chairs – you might consider a less conventional barbeque. The ‘Well Done’ Social Grill is reminiscent of dining experiences like those at Korean barbecues, where guests grill their own food together with everyone else. This removes the requirement for a solitary chef having to stand over a grill for untold hours preparing food and, most importantly, is lots of fun.
The grill is about 90cm long and can be placed on a table for up to 6 people to share. You’ll want to check if you need a heat shield for your table before you light any flames and it isn’t the most portable of the barbecues on this list, but with a price tag of around £60, it is reasonably priced and a great social option.
Anyone that scoffs at the idea of grilling with gas instead of charcoal, look away now. Those looking for convenience and portability, the Weber Q1200 might be what you’re after. With a push-button ignition, the grill is easy to light and heats up to cooking temperature within five minutes. It also comes with fold-out side tables and an aluminium lid with a built-in thermometer.
It’s a convenient and sturdy barbeque for anyone who doesn’t mind using gas but is a little more expensive, ranging from £300-£320.
We hope our guide to balcony barbecues (part 2) has been of use! We’re confident that the weather will be just right for outdoor social grilling any day now. It’s not like it could rain every day this summer… Right?