Recommendations for Balcony BBQ grills


We are living in Zurich and we have a balcony in our apartment of around 12.6 m2 (2.2m * 5.8m). The balcony has a wooden floor and during rains the blinds go up automatically and the balcony floor is usually wet.

We are thinking about buying a gas bbq grill for the balcony, and trying to understand the feasibility/safety/cost etc.

I have the following questions:

1) Is it safe to have a gas bbq in the apartment balcony with a wooden floor? Will the rains damage the bbq grill?

2) Do we need special permissions from our landlord? Our rules say that gas or electric bbqs are allowed.

3) Can our neighbors still complain if we use the grill? Is there a time limit on until when we can use in the evening (10 PM or 11 PM).

4) any recommendations on which model to buy? We are not looking to buy a very expensive one as this will be our first gas BBQ.

5) What safety recommendations should we follow? We plan to buy a fire extinguisher as was recommended. Anything else.

Happy to hear opinions from bbq experts.

Hi BBQ Cook

A quick solution, which could be convenient for you, and would answer some of your questions, could be a small electric BBQ.

Looking quickly on our friendly galaxus, these range from very simple to quite complex with stand.…grill-20148715…grill-22605267

If you started with one of these types, and then you can always upgrade to a bigger gas / electric as your bbq’ing skills get honed.

Good cooking !!

Thanks Dragon. I was thinking about the electric option also.

However, it's not clear to me what's the benefit of electric grill over and above a normal oven?

1) Gas is safe , charcoal, not. You can put a grill mat underneath to catch spills. You can get a cover that will shield the bbq from rain.

2) Nope

3) 10 PM could be late for weekdays. Best to ask, especially folks above you.

4) Look at Galaxus / Digitec or go to a Coop B&L. Brands like Campingaz are reasonable value for money for beginners.

5) Grill mat and extinguisher are more than enough.

I would not go with electric, not much better than an oven.

  1. Here is an articled titled “Is It Safe To Use a Gas Grill On Wood Deck? – Expert Guide” that might provide some insight, but it sounds like you do have to be careful:

Perhaps a large grill mat wouldn’t be a bad idea, to help protect the wood flooring. Something like this:…E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Our good friends bought a brand new apartment with “fancy” balcony flooring and use a huge gas grill on their balcony and, as far as I know, they haven’t had any problems. They do live on a top floor, though, and their balcony has a permanent roof.

  1. Since your rental contract says that gas and electric BBQs are allowed, you shouldn’t have a problem with using one.

  2. Back to point #2, your contract says that you’re allowed to have one, so your neighbors don’t really have a right to complain unless perhaps smoke from the grill is going into their house. Do you have many apartments above you or a good place on your balcony to place the grill where any smoke coming from it would be less likely to go into your neighbor’s windows? Also, if possible, I guess you could try to peek (or smell ) to see if your neighbors also have grills on their balconies.

  3. Perhaps you could try finding a grill online that says it’s waterproof / rainproof (with a decent lid). They do also make waterproof grill covers. If you find a grill online that you’re interested in, you could see if you could find it on and then read the reviews for it – or even perhaps just order it from there.

  4. A fire extinguisher is probably a good idea. Not sure if you should store one outside in the heat, though. Also, don’t place a gas canister in direct sun.

I have a small tabletop BBQ gas grill on a metal table.

There is nothing you can do to stop some neighbours from complaining, one of my neighbours once claimed they complained to the Gemeinde about my old charcoal BBQ. I never did hear anything from the Gemeinde but I stopped using it after I burnt a hole in the wooden floor.

In Canton Zürich , the cut-off time in Summertime on Friday and Saturday is 11.

B.S. Charcoal is perfectly safe!


Our balcony is a similar size to OP‘s - albeit a concrete floor.

We have the Outdoor Chef 420 Chelsea Gas grill which is OK. I bought a cover that goes with it to keep the weather off. On windy days, I secure that to the grill using clothes pegs plus hook a corner of the cover under the gas bottle.

I also bought the optional „gourmet set“ which includes a pizza plate, paella pan - which I make use of.

Before Zurich, we lived in Basel in a top-floor apartment with a 30m2 balcony so there I had a proper Weber charcoal grill which I do miss. The compromise is a Bodum picnic grill that is charcoal powered which I take to the park whenever I crave a charcoal-grilled steak. I have used it on the balcony once or twice when I am sure the neighbours are out.

The people next door to us are an elderly couple, both now with health issues making them largely housebound so I avoid using the charcoal one out of consideration for them.



I had an Outdoor Chef Gas grill on our balcony but once I used it to close to the apartment window glass which split from top to bottom.

Wow. Was that due to the heat from the grill???

From personal experience, I DON’T recommend the gas BBQ from Landi.…ill-club_81929

Is cheap and looks good, but is not powerful at all. Difficult to get up to temperature even at “full throttle” and therefore not ideal for cooking.

I guess yes, because you're put the grill on top of a table. Quite complicate to cook while squatting on the floor More seriously, the temperature at the bottom of the grill is low.

It' should be already mentioned on the contract. Don't worry. Maybe just look for the text dealing with this.

People can always complain, even if you're grilling at 2PM. Is the complain reasonable? That's a different story. Extra points if the neighbor complaining is a smoker

Due to clashes with neighbors above, I mostly grill with charcoal (lotus grill) during colder months (November-April). No more complains about smoke when air is below 0° C

Usually, fat accumulates somewhere in the grill. In case of fire, never pour water on that because that's a homemade flamethrower. A fire blanket (Löschdecke in German) should be enough for smaller grills that you'd use in a balcony.