The 7 Best Grills for Apartment Dwellers and Folks with Tiny or Non-Existent Backyards

updated May 17, 2021
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First, you are probably not allowed to grill on your fire escape. Ordinances in most cities state that your grill must be more than 10 feet from anything that can easily catch fire. So that means that balcony (and especially fire escape) grilling sessions are most likely off-limits. However, if you have some safe place to go or are interested in checking out an indoor grill, you do have some options!

These are the best indoor and/or portable grills for apartment dwellers, folks who have tiny (or non-existent) backyards, or grillers who want to take their cookouts to go.

1. Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

This little guy is essentially a shrunken-down version of the classic kettle grill that Weber does so well. It still has enough cooking space for four or five burgers, a few hot dogs, and some onions — at the same time. Or a whole chicken, a rack of ribs, or large steaks. It has a heat-proof lid handle, a tray that’ll catch the ashes, and dampers that allow you to control the temp of the grill. And it only weighs 9.5 pounds.

2. Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

This is a great pick for grill masters who prefer the convenience of gas over charcoal. You simply hook it up to a propane tank and ignite! As its name implies, it’s great for busting out on a picnic table or even during a small tailgate. The large porcelain-enameled cooking surface is easy to use and clean up. Plus, two foldable aluminum legs and a briefcase-style carrying handle make it incredibly portable and easy to carry around.

3.  Cuisinart Griddler

Wanna grill inside your kitchen, where your landlord can’t yell at you and the bugs can’t annoy you? Try this indoor grill, which comes recommended by our resident gear pro. It comes with reversible plates, so it can be used as a grill, griddle, or panini press.

4. Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube Charcoal Portable Barbeque

If you’re the type who likes to nerd out over kitchen gear, this grill has your name written all over it. Well, technically it has Heston Blumenthal’s name on it — because the science-minded, Michelin-starred chef came up with it. It’s super techy and yet still super cute.

5. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Propane Grill

For those who don’t want to lug a grill through the park or down the beach, this gas grill folds up and gets pulled just like a wheely suitcase. Once set up, it lights with the push of a button and has 285 square inches of grilling surface. Reviewers especially love it for camping.

6. George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

The popular electric grill is a great alternative if you like the grilling experience, but can’t have open-flame propane or charcoal grills. The 15-serving platter is large enough to accommodate several items at once, while the removable stand gives you the flexibility of packing it up and taking it anywhere. The surface has a slick non-stick coating and the plates are also removable so clean up is rather easy.

7. Philips Smoke-Less Infrared Grill

This compact grill uses advanced infrared heating technology that produces up to 80 percent less smoke than a traditional grill. Plus, it heats up in less than a minute and is perfect for grilling up quick everyday meals on the countertop or setting up on the patio to enjoy grilled summer favorites.

Do you have a favorite small space-friendly grill? Tell us about it in the comments!