Do you want to grill the best foods outdoors when you live in an apartment complex? Since building and federal fire safety regulations and standards may prevent you from using live flames and charcoal, your best option is to use an electric grill. But, there are just too many electric grills in the market, making settling down on one a daunting task. So, this article is ideal for you if you are looking for the best electric grill for an apartment balcony.
Read on for the top 5 models and more on safety standards when you grill.
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You can use electric grills on your balcony, provided you adhere to your building and federal fire safety codes. An electric grill is safer than a gas grill or even the best charcoal grills. Landlords in most apartments in New York do not permit you to use charcoal or gas grills with live flames, but you can use outdoor electric grills.
Still, it is best to understand what reservations landlords will have for using electric grills. For instance, some will prohibit grilling on balconies if it bothers neighbors or if an electric grill is not well-ventilated. If your landlord or property management does not prohibit using an electric grill on a balcony, the onus is on you to ensure safe grilling.
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According to the American National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), different fire departments in the country responded to approximately 10,600 home structures and outdoor fires caused by grills and barbeques between 2014-2018. Unfortunately, the fires led to hundreds of civilian injuries and an estimated 10 deaths.
To prevent avoidable fire accidents, we recommend ensuring the following fire safety guidelines:
- Ensure your grill can be used outdoors
- Ensure your grill is well-ventilated
- Do not grill close to flammable items
- Ensure your outdoor grill is stable and compatible with the electrical connection in your home
- Do not leave the grill unattended when cooking
- Keep the grill away from water sources
- Always extinguish the grill after cooking and allow it to cool down before returning it inside the house
What Are the Benefits of Using the Best Electric Grills on an Apartment Balcony?
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Now that you understand how to use an electric grill on the balcony, it is only fair we tell you why the electric grill is good for you. We recommend getting the best outdoor electric grills for these reasons:
- An outdoor electric grill is easy to use and cooks food quite fast.
- It cooks healthier meals. Sure, an electric grill will not leave your food with unique flavors as you'd get from a charcoal grill, but it cooks food with fewer fats to preserve the most nutrients. In addition, you can also use it to prepare many foods, from steak, chicken breasts, veggies, and fruits.
- The portable grills save space. One of the main reasons we recommend getting a compact grill is that it does not take up a lot of space in storage or outdoors when cooking.
- An electric grill is easy to clean and requires less maintenance than gas or charcoal grills.
- It is safer to use than a charcoal or gas grill.
- An outdoor and compact electric grill is relatively affordable.
Living in an apartment no longer means you cannot experiment with grilling your favorite foods. All you need is the best electric grills and space on your balcony. But, it would be best to have a reliable and durable compact appliance before you get grilling.
Not sure which to choose? Here is a list of five we tested for you. We settled on these models for their ease of use, versatility, and performance.
1. George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
- George Tough Nonstick Coating - There's a lot to love about this...
- Indoor or Outdoor Removable Stand - Don't let the weather keep...
- Adjustable Temperature Control - The temperature probe lets you...
- Apartment-Approved - Your landlord will love this grill just as...
- Included components: Use And Care Manuals
When testing the best electric grill for apartment balcony space, we looked for a versatile model you can use indoors and outdoors. In addition, we also wanted to recommend a model that can prepare a meal for many people. So, we settled on this George Foreman grill as our best option.
The indoor/outdoor electric grill has a removable stand that lets you use it indoors and outdoors as a standalone or tabletop grill. Additionally, it has a large cooking surface, so we could prepare up to 15 servings at a time when we have guests.
This George Foreman electric grill has a silver exterior that is visually appealing and easy to wipe clean. Speaking of cleaning, we also loved how easy it was to clean the interior cooking surface.
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The nonstick grill plate is sloped so fats and juices can flow into the dishwasher-safe drip tray. Unlike other outdoor electric grills, this model comes with a removable grill plate, ensuring we had an easy time cleaning. For safety, only clean the grill when it is unplugged and cool to the touch.
The final feature we wanted to guarantee when testing this model is if it can cook food evenly. Despite the large 240 square inches of cooking surface, this round grill distributes cooking heat to cook evenly. The reliable heat distribution and the domed grill lid ensure our food cooks faster while retaining the most nutrients.
When we got this outdoor cooking grill, we could choose from five heat settings on the temperature probe after plugging it in. Then, we let the surface heat up for a few minutes before adding our food for grilling.
2. Techwood 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
- 🍖【High-Quality BBQ】 Techwood Electric Grill with No...
- 🍖【Fast Heating】 You can adjust the Sensitive Temperature...
- 🍖【15 - Servings】Techwood stand Grill Equipped with 240...
- 🍖【Easy to Install and Clean 】 All the screws were already...
- 🍖【Get Yours Now, Risk-Free】Techwood offer a outstanding...
This is another outdoor grill that met all our testing requirements. We were looking for a grill that can prepare up to 15 servings and has easy temperature control features.
While it can prepare 15 servings, the grill also features a double-layered rack design on top of the heating element. This design makes it easy to prepare lots of food, and the top layer is ideal for keeping food warm after preparation. The dome lid is a great feature also when you need to cook fast and keep food warm for a while.
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When testing, we also looked for a versatile model that you can use indoors or outdoors. It was relieving that this Techwood grill comes with a removable stand with a rounded base, so it remains stable when you want to use it on the balcony.
This balcony grill also has a venting system we could rotate to dissipate steam and heat for even cooking. The removable drip tray is porcelain-coated and dishwasher-safe, while grill plates are also easy for us to disassemble and clean.
The balcony grill has an easy-to-use temperature control knob that lets us choose between five heat settings. Finally, the exterior is made of metal and features a red reflective paint that makes the grill look good on our balcony. Of course, if the red color is not your thing, you can choose other colors like blue.
3. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill
- 320 square inches of grilling surface area or 8 to 12 hamburger...
- Electric TRU-Infrared cooking system allows you to cook your food...
- Porcelain-coated premium cooking grates are rust-resistant and...
- Compact and stylish design with wheels to easily move around your...
- Great option if you can't use gas or charcoal and have a small...
This Char-Broil grill uses infrared heating to cook our food evenly without drying. Unlike most electric grills that use convective methods to heat the air around your food, infrared technology injects heat into the food, thus cooking juicy and tasty food in lesser time.
We were keen to observe how the grill would distribute the infrared heat across the 240 square inches of cooking space for even cooking, and we were not disappointed. We set sear and simmer temperatures and noticed even cooking overall. However, we did notice lower heat centralization towards the front of the grill.
The grill uses 1750 watts of power from a standard outlet, and we could operate an easy-to-use temperature knob to set the ideal temperature. In addition, the dome lid features a temperature gauge we used to monitor and adjust the cooking temperature when it was necessary.
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The outdoor grills come with porcelain-coated grates, which are nonstick and easy to clean. In addition, it also features an 80-square-inch raised secondary cooking surface that you can use to cook or warm more foods.
Since we wanted to recommend the most portable electric grills for your balcony grilling, the Char-Broil model will serve you well because it has two wheels for easy transportation. In addition, it gave us two storage trays to store our seasonings.
This model is the best pellet smoker, gas, or charcoal grill alternative for apartment balconies. You can use wood chips on the grate to make smoky steak.
The only dealbreaker we noticed is that we couldn't use it as a tabletop grill and the relatively high price.
4. Weber Q1400 Electric Grill
- 1560-watt electric heating element to heat 189 square-inch total...
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid...
- Fully assembled out of box
- Infinite control burner valve settings
- 6-foot grounded cord
We recommend getting this Weber balcony grill if you don't anticipate cooking for many people. The grill has 189 square inches of grilling space, so it can make six hamburgers at a go. While it is a relatively small grill and, frankly, the most expensive on our list, our test revealed some of the best features you may not find in the other models.
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Firstly, the grill comes with a 6-foot grounded cord that eliminates the need for an extension cord to the balcony. Secondly, it has the most durable construction with its porcelain-enameled cast iron grates and cast aluminum lid. Cast iron is the best grilling surface material since it leaves great sear marks on food. Finally, the dome lid is a great addition to preserve most heat, so our food cooks evenly and fast.
The grill has a 1560-watt heating element beneath the cooking grate. It is the best alternative to a traditional grill, but we did not fancy the long time it took to heat up. Another dealbreaker is this model does not display temperature, and we found it can burn some types of food, such as chicken breast.
5. Cuisinart CEG-980T Outdoor Electric Tabletop Grill
- 145-SQUARE-INCH PORCELAIN ENAMELED COOKING GRATE:...
- 1500 WATT HEATING ELEMENT: Features a 1500 watt heating element...
- COMPACT DESIGN: The grill measures 18. 5 x 16 x 11. 5 inches and...
- DURABLE FOLDING LEGS: The grill features folding legs that...
- NO ASSEMBLY: The grill comes ready to use right out of the box....
Are you looking for the best alternative to charcoal and propane flat-top outdoor grills? We recommend this Cuisinart model for its compact design and ease of use on the balcony. Weighing only 17 lbs, the grill is easy for one person to carry around and features a foldable tabletop stand.
Image Credits: cuisinart.com
It is a small grill with 145 square inches of porcelain enameled cooking space, so we could evenly cook food for four people. The 1500-watt heating element heats the cooking area to prepare the best-grilled food, including hot dogs, steak, and chicken breasts.
We noticed the grilling plate takes about 10 minutes to heat up, after which we placed our food to cook evenly. We threw some wood chips on the grates and were pleased with our steak's smoky flavor. For best results, soak the wood chips in water to heat up slowly, thus emitting the strongest smoke to give your food a better flavor.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Electric Grill for Apartment Balcony
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Now that you have a better idea of which electric grill to get for your balcony grilling, we want to provide you with a few more factors that can help you narrow your search to the best one.
When picking a grill, consider how many servings you can prepare in one go. So, look for how big the cooking area is. If you want a grill that can prepare meals for many people, we recommend going for a cooking area as big as 240 square inches or a smaller cooking surface with raised grates. If you want a grill for fewer servings, you can find models with around 145 square inches of grilling surface.
When buying, choose between portable models you can easily transport to and from the balcony. While we might suggest looking for a model with wheels, such as the Char-Broil patio bistro grill on our list, other models are lightweight, and you can carry them by their handles.
In addition to how to transport the grill, consider how to use it on your balcony. Most models come with a removable stand, so you won't need to carry tables to your balcony.
c) Wattage and Temperature
When buying a grill, it is imperative to ensure the best safety standards. A vital factor when choosing electric grills is ensuring safe compatibility with your house's electricity. So, select a grill with the best wattage to avoid damaging the electric connections in your house.
In terms of temperature, we recommend a machine with varying heat levels so you can select the most convenient for your cooking. Also, ensure the knob is easy to handle and that the grill rack heats evenly to cook your food well. Finally, you can also look for a grill that displays for quick monitoring.
d) Easy Cleaning
Easy-to-clean electric grills come with removable parts such as grill grates and drip pans. In addition, you also need to understand how the cleanable parts are made, starting with the materials and weight to determine if you can wash them in the dishwasher.
We recommend getting an electric bbq grill with nonstick grates and a nonstick drip pan. If you get a nonstick grate, check if it is removable so you can clean it more easily. Unfortunately, most grill grates are heavy and not recommended for the dishwasher. On the other hand, drip pans are mostly dishwasher safe because they are lighter.