It’s almost summer and that means grilling and barbecue season is upon us. Who doesn’t love a classic grilled cheeseburger or a hot dog? Don’t worry if you don’t have your own backyard. You can still grill at your leisure as a tenant.
Apartment dwellers can enjoy all the benefits of grilling even if your space is smaller. We have the perfect recipe for you on how to grill safely this summer. Follow apartment safety tips and general grilling recommendations.
Questions to ask yourself before grilling in an apartment
Before lighting your grill, there are a few important things to consider when grilling in an apartment.
Does your lease allow apartment grills?
Before inviting people to barbecue in your apartment, it’s important to check the apartment’s guidelines and read your lease to make sure you’re allowed to barbecue in your apartment. Some landlords don’t allow grilling in the apartment, and you don’t want to violate your lease.
If you can’t do indoor grilling, don’t worry. You can still enjoy the benefits of a barbecue by using the community grill, using a public grill at the local park, using an electric grill, or attending a friend’s barbecue instead.
What are the rules and restrictions for grilling in my apartment?
If your apartment complex allows grilling, then you should check the apartment grilling rules and regulations. Different cities and states have different restrictions on what you can and cannot do.
the International Fire Code“prohibits the use of charcoal and gas barbecue grills and other open combustion appliances on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction. There are exceptions for certain homes and where buildings, balconies and terraces are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.”
Be sure to check your city or state’s rules regarding apartment grilling. Your landlord will probably be able to tell you what is permitted and acceptable for your rental unit.
Do you have space on your balcony for a barbecue?
If you are allowed to grill on your own terrace or balcony, then you should consider whether you have space for a grill on your balcony or terrace. Grills come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to measure the patio and make sure you have enough space for the grill, food and prep materials, and a patio table itself. Take these measurements with you when you go to buy a grill.
Will you be using a gas or charcoal grill?
There are two types of grills: gas grills and charcoal grills. Each will make your food smoky and delicious, but you’ll want to understand the pros and cons of each before making a purchase.
Gas grills run on propane. You have more control over the temperature and the cooking itself is generally easier. If your propane tank is hooked up properly, all you need to do is light the grill, let it heat up and grill!
Charcoal grills work (you guessed it!), charcoal! Charcoal grills allow you to heat charcoal and then cook your food using the heat from the charcoal. Generally, charcoal barbecues reach a higher temperature when cooking. You will also usually get a smoky flavor with charcoals. Charcoal grills are generally less expensive than gas grills.
Be sure to ask your landlord if they allow gas and charcoal barbecues. Some communities allow both, while others prohibit the use of one or the other.
Safety tips for apartment barbecues
OK, you’ve done your homework and you’re allowed to grill in your apartment. No matter what type of grill you have, there are some apartment grill safety tips you should follow, as cooking fires are among the most common types of household fires.
We’ve outlined the things you need to know to have a safe and delicious barbecue at home. Whether you’re grilling on your own balcony or using the communal grill, here are some general safety tips to practice.
Choose a safe place to grill
If you are grilling on a balcony or patio, you should make sure to place the grill in a safe place. Keep the grill away from anything flammable and away from hanging plants, tree branches, or the building itself.
Likewise, always grill outdoors. Do not grill inside your apartment or inside a garage. The grills are reserved for outdoor spaces.
Keep children away from any grill
If children are present, create a perimeter around the grill for their safety. Teach children never to touch the grill, even when you are done cooking, as the surface may still be hot. When grilling, make sure you have someone supervising the children so that you are not grilling and supervising the children at the same time.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
If there’s a grill, there’s a fire extinguisher. Accidents happen, so it’s important to keep one nearby so you can put out the flames immediately. Fires can spread quickly, so it’s a good idea to always have your fire extinguisher handy. Also make sure you know how to use it.
Never leave a grill unattended
You should never leave your grill unattended. If you are the pitmaster, you must stay near your station (i.e. the grill) until you are done cooking and turn off the grill. This ensures that someone is near the grill to watch for fires or ward off children who have strayed near.
Practice safe food preparation
The grill itself isn’t the only danger when cooking. You must follow food safety protocols to prevent food poisoning. Be sure to heat the meat to the correct internal temperature before serving and avoid leaving the heat out too long.
Turn off the grill when you are done grilling
When you’ve grilled the last bratwurst, turn off the grill. You need to turn off gas grills so the propane doesn’t flow indefinitely, and charcoal grills need time to cool down before they can dispose of the coals themselves. Before you sit down to enjoy your food, make sure the grill is off.
Clean the grill after each use
Finally, be sure to clean the grill thoroughly after each use. You don’t want any food or grease buildup on the grill. Not only is it gross and unsanitary, but it can lead to fires in the future.
Gas Grill Safety Tips
Gas grills also present specific threats. When grilling with gas, here are a few things to remember:
- Frequently check the gas cylinder hose for leaks
- If you smell flameless gas, move away from the grill and call the fire department
- Always open the lid of the grill before lighting it so that gas does not accumulate inside
- Make sure the gas valve is closed when you are done cooking
- Do not leave the gas grill or propane tank near your apartment. Keep it in a safe place away from the structure of your apartment.
Charcoal Grill Safety Tips
Charcoal barbecues also have their own safety protocols. Be sure to know these things when cooking with charcoal:
- Remember that the coals can stay hot for hours, so never touch the coals directly without the proper tools.
- Keep lighter fluid and other propellants out of reach of children and always use with caution
- Properly dispose of your used coals after each use
Grilling essentials for apartment dwellers
Before you invite the neighbors over, make sure you have these grilling essentials nearby.
- Fire extinguisher
- Heat protection gloves
- Long tools for turning food
- Spray bottle with water
- Seasoning for delicious flavors
Apartment Grill Safety Is No Joke
Now that you know the proper safety tips for apartment barbecues, it’s time to start grilling.
These essential safety tips and gear will ensure the best barbecue season yet.