Firing up the grill for a backyard summer cookout is a Memorial Day tradition. But what if you live in an apartment? What grills are allowed on apartment balconies?

Traditional grills are definitely out if you plan to have a barbeque on an apartment balcony or patio. Most local municipalities and apartment communities do not allow grills due to safety concerns.

But apartment grill rules don’t mean you can’t get your grill on this Memorial Day. In fact, you don’t need a grill, or even a backyard, to make your cookout dreams come true.

Here are five ways to host a grill-free barbeque on an apartment balcony or patio.

  • Pick a non-grilling menu — Sure, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs are the traditional go-to for Memorial Day, but there are a ton of non-grilling options, too. Conjur New England with traditional- style lobster rolls or head south for a Low Country seafood boil with crab, shrimp, potatoes and corn. Alternately, try a tray of sandwiches or a patriotic charcuterie platter so people can nibble at their own pace.
  • Outsource the grilling — Everyone knows that sides are the real stars of a great cookout, anyway. Buy your BBQ chicken, pork and brisket already cooked and prepare the sides to accompany it – think potato salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans and bean salad. (Bon Appetit has some suggestions). Or make your cookout a potluck and assign a couple guests to bring the smoked meats.
  • Use your oven Slow-cooked oven-baked BBQ ribs can be made ahead of time, taking some stress off your plate as you prep. A tray of oven-baked bratwurst can be ready in just 20 minutes. Provide a variety of toppings – including cabbage slaw, spicy relish, pickled vegetables, cheese, and sauces – and let your guests build their perfect dog.
  • “Grill” indoors — You can get the flavor of freshly grilled burgers, hot dogs, kabobs, and vegetables on your stovetop with a cast-iron grill pan. For maximum sear and minimal sticking, be sure to get the pan nice and hot first. And don’t forget to turn on your range fan to remove any smoke or lingering odors. Alternately you can use an electric grill like the George Foreman or Gotham Steel Smokeless for an easy indoor grilling option. To get more of that outdoor flavor, marinate your meat and veggies in smoky spices like cumin and paprika, or go big and add some liquid smoke in your marinade.
  • Use your community grilling area — Many apartment communities offer outdoor grilling areas for their residents, allowing community members to entertain and indulge in the full al fresco experience while adhering to apartment grill rules. Bonus: you might even run into some of your neighbors and make new friends. The more, the merrier! (Just be sure to clean up after the fun is over).

Decorating for Your Barbeque on an Apartment Balcony

Whichever alternative to outdoor grilling you choose, make your Memorial Day BBQ memorable by decorating with tons of red, white and blue. Start by displaying your food buffet-style with American flag paper plates, cups, napkins and tablecloth.

The right dessert can double as a beautiful, edible centerpiece for your buffet table. These mini red, white and blue star cheesecakes fit the theme and these easy no-bake desserts look as good as they taste.

Don’t forget the drinks! Fill several large metal buckets or a galvanized tub with ice cold cans or bottles of water, iced tea, beer, wine and sodas for a festive, but low-maintenance, self-serve option. Or, rent a frozen drink machine to whip up some slushy sangria, daiquiris, or non-alcoholic lemonade. Garnish with fresh blueberries and strawberries to further amplify the red, white and blue theme.

No doubt, guests will want to share their day on social media, so set up a selfie wall with an American flag, streamers and balloons. Provide your guests with photo props like patriotic hats and flags, and let them go to town. Bonus points for creating a fun party hashtag.

Go No-Grill with Southern Management

What grills are allowed on apartment balconies? The answer is: none. But don’t let apartment grill rules get you down. There are tons of alternatives to traditional grilling that make for a safe and delicious cookout full of fun.

If you’re itching to get your grill on, consider one of our many apartment communities that have community grilling areas. Baltimore’s Horizon House has a private courtyard with community grills as well as a rooftop swimming pool and guest suites for overnight visitors. Not only does Summit Hills, in Silver Spring, have grilling stations and a picnic area–there’s also a mini golf course on the community! There’s always a place to grill at Middletowne & The Dona, which has several grilling areas, a playground, and a picnic area.

With 75 apartment communities in Virginia and Maryland, our team is confident we can find the perfect apartment to make you feel right at home and ready to host your next summer cookout.

Contact our team to learn more today.