In a perfect world, we would all have massive yards that mow themselves, with spacious decks and patios surrounding our house. Unfortunately, all that space also costs a lot of money. People who live in small homes or in urban areas where space is at a premium tend to have smaller decks and patios.
Of course, this doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying a grilled meal. It just means you need to be smart about the kind of grill you choose for your small deck or patio.
Important Grill Features For A Small Deck Or Patio
If you have a limited amount of outdoor square footage to deal with, you’ll need to take stock of just how much space you are willing to give up to a grill. This might even call for rearranging your patio furniture. Don’t hesitate to take out a tape measure and draw up a diagram.
This will let you dial in just where you want to put the grill, and just how big of a grill you can accommodate as well as how you might rearrange your patio to make the most out of the space. While you are at it, make sure to factor in just how close you want the grill to your house.
The prevailing rule of thumb is that a charcoal grill or charcoal-burning kamado needs to be at least 10 feet from the house. While there are some people who ignore this concept, you might want to lean toward gas or electric grills if your preferred grill space is within 10-feet of your house.
Side tables are also something that is hotly debated with small deck grills. One or even two side tables are great for holding prep and serving platters. Keeping prep platters with things like raw chicken on the right and a serving platter for cooked food on the left is great insurance against things like cross-contamination.
Unfortunately, side tables can also take up a lot of space on your deck or patio. Fixed side tables can be frustrating for the times when you aren’t using the grill, and they are simply getting in the way of you lounging on the deck. Though there are some grills that come with folding side tables that conveniently collapse down when you aren’t using it.
Wheels are also something to consider. A grill that you can move around easily can be stored in the corner where it takes up a minimal amount of space on the deck. When it’s time to grill, you can then drag it out to a more central location. When you’re done grilling, you simply wait an hour or two for everything to cool down and you can move it back into its quiet little corner. This is a great option for people who want a charcoal grill but keeping it 10-feet from the house might not be convenient for the day to day layout of your deck.
A cart or cabinet base is also something worth considering. Especially for a gas grill that is set up with the hose and connection running underneath. This lets you store the liquid propane tank out of sight. With a charcoal grill, you need to take into account that most cart bases are not waterproof. So, if you do want to keep your charcoal bag in the cart base, you should consider keeping it inside a plastic tote bin. Even if there are only some small gaps in the back of a grill cabinet, wind and rain have a knack for exploiting even the tiniest spaces.
What Type Of Grill Is Best For A Small Patio Charcoal, Gas Or Electric?
Fuel source is one of those hotly debated topics that for some ranks just a step below arguing about politics. When it comes to a charcoal grill, you to be able to keep it at least 10 feet from the house or prioritize a unit with easy to use wheels.
When it comes to a gas grill liquid propane is currently more popular than natural gas. Though natural gas is growing in popularity as it burns cleanly and efficiently. Just keep in mind that natural gas is only available via a municipal gas line. If you have one coming to your house but not to your deck, you will need to have one plumbed to your preferred location.
Electric grills tend to be much more popular for people who live in apartments and condominiums where propane and gas are banned. With these grills, you need to be mindful of the wattage they are rated to consume. Double-check the breaker panel connected to your intended outlet. Keep in mind that a 15-Amp breaker can only handle a maximum load of 1,800 Watts. A 20-Amp breaker can handle up to 2,400 Watts.
Best Charcoal Grills For A Small Patio
Best Gas Grills For A Small Patio
Best Electric Grills For A Small Deck
Wood Pellet Grills
Wood pellet grills are sort of their own niche in the grill industry. There are some people who would argue that they are smokers that are simply capable of being cranked up to replicate high-heat grill temperatures.
This is due in large part to the fact that they use indirect heat. A small internal auger delivers an automated stream of wood pellets to an electric element in a firepot. A small fan then delivers the ideal amount of oxygen to complete the flame equation, while also helping to divert the heat up to the primary cooking chamber.
Some wood pellet grills can reach temperatures in excess of 450-degrees, which replicated direct heat grilling. There are even a few that have broiler plates that let you access the open flame produced by the firepot for things like searing off a steak or marking the skin on a chicken breast.
Many wood pellet grills are large, which might not be ideal for a small deck or patio. Though there are a few that are relatively compact or otherwise easy to move around.