BBQs in Small Spaces – Part 1: Buying a BBQ For Your Apartment

When people think of BBQs, they think big. Big steaks, big gatherings, big 4-burners. There are many situations, however, where big barbecuing is simply not an option due to the limited space in which you have to cook.

What is also not an option, however, is not barbecuing at all.

Welcome to my series on BBQs in Small Spaces. I’ll be going into the considerations that need to be made and the options you have for buying BBQs for three small areas, including apartment balconies, caravans and campers, and boats.

First Up: Apartments

As our urban populations continue to rise, more and more people are being forced away from houses with sizeable backyards and in to high-density apartment blocks with no backyards at all.

Many people see this as the death knell for their barbecued dinners, but it needn’t be. There are plenty of options out there for apartment-dwellers who want to keep the fires burning.

Napoleon TravelQ 285X BBQ

Things To Consider

Unlike with a boat or caravan, an apartment BBQ doesn’t have too many limitations. It needn’t be transportable or protected from a marine environment. In fact, the only thing it has to be is small enough to fit onto your balcony.

Therefore, the most important question to ask yourself is: “How much space do I actually have?” When considering this, make sure you leave some space to cook, grow some herbs, have a small outdoor setting, and whatever else you want to use your balcony for.

Also remember that even the smallest BBQ cooking surface should be adequate for feeding you and whoever else lives in the apartment. And if you’re having a party, you can always cook in several batches.

BBQ Options

As I said earlier, when choosing your apartment BBQ, you’re really only limited by the size, not the type of BBQ. There is such a wide range of BBQs available that you can choose almost any type you like in whatever size you like. Here are a few options:

2-Burner Gas BBQ: For something similar to your traditional 4 or 6-burner backyard barbie, get a little 2-burner. It’ll do everything the big boys do, only with less food. They’re all fairly easy to move around, but if you want to make it extra easy, get one with a handy trolley.

Napoleon PRO285 BBQ with cart

Napoleon PRO285 BBQ with cart


Charcoal BBQ: If you prefer the smoky flavours of charcoal cooking to gas, there are plenty of options for your balcony. Most charcoal kettle BBQs will easily sit out of the way in a corner of your balcony. They are also fairly lightweight, making them easy to move around if need be.

Napoleon Charcoal Kettle BBQ NK22CK-L

Napoleon Charcoal Kettle BBQ NK22CK-L

Kamado Cooker: For something different, as well as compact, you can’t go past the kamados. These egg-shaped outdoor cookers will barbecue, roast and smoke, and they’ll look great on your balcony.

Saffire Grill Kamado Cooker

Saffire Grill Kamado Cooker

Electric Wall Mounted BBQ: When it comes to space saving, this is the benchmark. As I’ve said previously, this barbie is not only a thing of beauty, but also function when it comes to small spaces, as it’s the only BBQ that folds up to the size of a briefcase.

SMART Wall Mounted Electric BBQ

SMART Wall Mounted Electric BBQ

What do you think? What type of BBQ do you use for your apartment balcony? Join me next time for Part 2 of my series on BBQs in Small Spaces when we’ll look at buying a BBQ for your boat!


Marian O'Neill

Marian O'Neill

Managing Director at
My name is Marian O’Neill and I am the owner of All BBQs. My working life commenced as a primary school teacher, however the majority of my career has been in business with my husband. I love BBQ cooking and decided to follow my interest and open an online BBQ superstore after much research revealed how difficult it was to find good quality, australian made BBQs. At we specialise in Australian made BBQs, wood fired pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens. We strive wherever possible to provide high quality Australian made products.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Michelle December 1, 2014, 2:35 am

    This is a great! I used to live in a small apartment and missed having a BBQ ready to go but it was so hard finding one that could neatly fit on the balcony without taking up the entire space available. I love the Kamado BBQ’s. I do have a question, will the smoke from the BBQ damage the ceiling paint or is there a trick to preventing any damage if there is a risk?


    • admin December 1, 2014, 3:12 am

      Glad you asked that question Michelle. The greatest danger from a BBQ is it falling over and lighting the floor on fire and/or damaging or igniting the wall finish next to it But a typical outdoor ceiling is far enough away from a typical BBQ to not be a fire hazard. So long as there is adequate airflow under the patio cover and it doesn’t collect smoke (like a cathedral ceiling) it should not be a problem. Put your hand over your BBQ at eye level and there’s almost no heat.

      However you’ll find the best advice of safe locations for your BBQ and outdoor kitchen in the Gas Regulation booklet. You can download it here


Leave a Comment