With summer bearing down on your urban locale, there’s never been a better time to prep for the upcoming grilling season. From picnics and parties to the occasional get-together with your immediate family, there’s nothing more American than a full-fledged grill-out. But just because you live in a small, one-bedroom apartment, it doesn’t mean you can’t partake in one of cooking’s greatest disciplines.
We know what it’s like when you have to get rid of your prized propane partner — whether you’re moving to a complex that doesn’t allow full-width grills or just trying to minimize your footprint by getting rid of your life’s biggest peripherals. But, if you’re like us, you’ll soon realize that grilling is an undisputed addiction that’s become deeply rooted within your very being. When it comes to finding the perfect grill for everyday apartment use, compromise is key; you’ll have to give up space, power, and potential in order to suffice. But don’t fret, our guide on the best small grills for apartment use is about to quell your fears when it comes to delicious, charred goods.
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
When you’re looking for an affordable, bare-bones grilling apparatus that’s become synonymous with one of the most trusted names in the industry, the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Portable Grill is often the first example that comes to mind. Not only is this all-encompassing charcoal grill a hit for mid-summer beach parties and lazy afternoon picnics, but it’s also small enough to be utilized in compact deck areas, porches, and well-ventilated enclosures. Keep in mind, the Smokey Joe is as basic as it comes, so when modern indulgences like propane aren’t available, this charcoal/wood-burning example is the perfect alternative.
Grilling Area: 147 Square Inches
Char-Broil Portable 240 Liquid Propane Small Gas Grill
Char-Broil has become a staple in the grilling and cooking industries thanks to their extensive catalog of dependable gear, supplies, and cookware. The company’s Portable 240 Liquid Propane Small Gas Grill stays true to its trusted name, boasting a well-designed, 240-square-inch cooking area, stable legs, and convenient carrying handles for easy setup while on-the-go. This propane-imbued variant can adapt to a variety of different terrains — but, since you’ll be using it in a compact living area, you can rest assured that the Char-Broil will meet or exceed your standards, no matter what you’re trying to cook. A lid-mounted temperature gauge and painted porcelain body give the great-looking grill a pair of standout traits, at an affordable price point.
Grilling Area: 240 Square Inches
George Foreman GFO3320 Indoor/Outdoor Grill
If you’ve never heard of George Foreman, then you’ve got some research to do on one of the cooking world’s most iconic grillmasters. Even though the company’s GFO3320 Indoor/Outdoor Grill won’t make you a legendary chef overnight, it’ll do the job for the urban aficionado who’s looking to prepare large portions for friends and family, whip up some weekly meals, or celebrate a national holiday with some burgers and brats. The GFO3320 utilizes a “frying pan” surface with over 240-square-inches of cooking area, a non-stick ceramic coating for ease of use, and a low-profile orientation for those who might not have the space to entertain a large, freestanding grill. Better yet, a built-in thermometer and precise temperature controls ensure that you’ll get the perfect sear, every time.
Grilling Area: 240 Square Inches
Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Cuisinart’s CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill is the perfect all-arounder for someone who’s looking to take their cooking game to the next level. A 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner and porcelain-enameled grate ensure that you’ll receive even heating, no matter where you are, and offers you a premium grilling experience at an attractive price point. Not only is this compact system the perfect companion for mid-summer picnics and get-togethers, but it’s also quickly become one of the quintessential cooking apparatuses for individuals with small tabletops, or decks. There’s even an integrated lid to help you keep your cooking area clean and clutter-free.
Grilling Area: 145 Square Inches
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
Smoke Hollow might not be the most recognizable name on this list, but what the company lacks in notoriety, they make up for in unadulterated quality. The company’s 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill clocks in at an ultra-portable 105-square-inches, complete with a chrome-plated warming rack, a 10,000 BTU stainless steel “U” burner, and a stainless steel drip tray that makes cleanup a thing of the past. Foldable stainless steel legs and an integrated temperature gauge provide the perfect quality-of-life additions for the everyday user. Although it’s small, Smoke Hollow’s powerful grill retains its traditional raw steel look, which is usually only found in larger grills.
Grilling Area: 105 Square Inches
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Green Mountain Grills’ Davy Crockett is the lone representative of the Pellet variety on our list, giving it a leg up on its competition in more ways than one. Not only does the Davy Crockett boast one of the most elaborate cooking systems in the grilling world, but it also provides immaculate portability, convenience, and taste, all in one unassuming package. It’s outfitted with Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor that monitors grill temperature on a near-constant basis, a 110-volt or 12-volt adaptor for three separate power options, and a digital WiFi controller that allows you to check, regulate, and control your grill from a smart device. A peaked lid allows for more space than conventional grilling apparatus, making it the perfect companion for everything from tailgating, camping, and house-boating, to everyday apartment use.
Grilling Area: 219 Square Inches
Kamado Joe Junior Grill
Kamado Joe’s Junior Grill is a miniaturized version of the company’s renowned Classic Joe — offering users the same, highly-acclaimed performance as the original, but in a much more apartment-friendly package. With 148.5-square-inches of cooking space, the Junior fills the niche for portable grilling companions, offering aspiring pitmasters the perfect alternative for deck or patio use. Like most Kamado Joe grills, the Junior sets the bar for slow cooking, and features the company’s proprietary SlōRoller + Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System for the ultimate grilling experience.
Grilling Area: 148.5 Square Inches
Fuego Element F21C
Fuego’s Element F21C tops our list as one of the most extravagant apartment-friendly grills that you can buy, boasting a vertical layout that’s reminiscent of traditional grilling platforms. A monstrous 525-square-inches of grilling surface seems like a bit of overkill for an apartment-savvy setup, but, thanks to the grill’s interesting orientation, it works surprisingly well. Aside from being able to cook more than enough for a family of four, the Element F21C makes the most of its space-saving architecture by hiding the LPG tank in its cylindrical neck, utilizing two 26,500 BTU burners for exceptional temperature control, and providing a hinged 45 Degree lid design that prevents discomfort from reaching over the grill’s scorched surface. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line grill with the looks to match, the Fuego Element F21C has you covered on all accounts.
Grilling Area: 525 Square Inches
18 Essential Grilling Tools For Summer
Now that you’ve found the perfect grill for your space, grab a set of the most essential grilling tools for summer to become a true pitmaster.
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