Cooking On Your Apartment Balcony: Our Top Tips
Outdoor dining such as a barbeque is one of the fun things that you can do with family or friends, especially during the summer. But if you live in an apartment and don’t have your own garden, then you might not have considered it to be a feasible idea. However, if you have an apartment balcony that is large enough for a couple of people, then you can still get that barbeque or outdoor dining experience.
Whether you’re going to use a grill, a pizza oven, or something else for cooking, it’s important to know how to cook on your apartment balcony safely and effectively. Since there are building policies and regulations to be aware of, especially when it comes to grilling, you will need to first make sure that you know what’s allowed in your home.
First of all, it’s important to ensure that everything is safe before you start cooking on your apartment balcony. Grilling can be one of the riskier cooking activities, so if you are worried about fires, you may want to consider a Pizza Oven from Ooni. You can also cook on your apartment balcony using a camping stove. Both of these options are small, portable, and designed for outdoor cooking so they should be safe and easy to use as long as your balcony is large enough.
Pizza ovens and camping stoves may also be a good way to get around regulations that prevent you from grilling on your apartment balcony. If you are not allowed to have a barbeque, then there might be nothing stopping you from firing up a pizza oven and making some pizzas on your balcony. Check the rules first to be sure that it is permitted.
You should also keep combustible materials in mind before you start cooking, too. If your balcony is made from or has any highly flammable materials such as wood, canvas, composite or vinyl, then you will need to take additional safety steps to ensure that these don’t go up in flames.
Cook on Something Suitable for Your Balcony
A balcony is still considered to be a part of the apartment unit. So, before you start cooking, you will need to find something to cook on that is a good fit for the environment. You will need to think about any state laws, building policies, the materials that your balcony is constructed from, and how much space you have available before choosing.
If you want to grill, for example, then you will have three main types to choose from. These are charcoal, gas, and electric grills. In most cases, you can’t use an open-flame cooking device on your balcony, and you may want to avoid it anyway if the balcony is made from combustible materials. An electric grill is usually the safest option.
Have Your Tools to Hand
As with cooking anywhere else, it is always a good idea to have all the tools you need to hand when you are cooking on your apartment balcony. Instead of walking back and forth to the kitchen every five minutes to get what you need, you may want to consider getting a portable cabinet or some kind of easy storage box where you can place all your tools and have them right there on the balcony to hand while you are cooking.
Keep Kids and Pets Away from the Area
You probably wouldn’t allow your kids or pets to get close to the stove in the kitchen when it’s on and very hot, so apply these same rules to any outdoor cooking devices that you are using on the balcony, whether it’s a pizza oven, a barbeque grill, or a camping stove. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it’s recommended that you have a three-foot safety zone when cooking outdoors or on a balcony, particularly if you are using a grill. Make sure that kids and pets are kept clear of this area.
Position Your Cooking Device Correctly
Whether you are grilling, using a pizza oven, or cooking on your balcony on a camping stove, the worst thing that can happen is that your balcony catches fire. So, prevent this when you set up your cooking station on the balcony by making sure that the grill, oven, or stove you are using is positioned correctly in the space. You should ensure that there is at least three feet of clearance area between any railings, the siding, and screen enclosures. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you choose the correct size of appliance for your apartment balcony.
Don’t Leave the Food Unattended
No matter what you have decided to cook on the balcony, one of the main safety rules is that you should never leave it unattended. Even if you are using a pizza oven or an electric grill, which are generally safer than a grill with an open flame, these do still generate some heat that can lead to risks. All it takes is a gust of wind to knock something into the oven or grill, or blow it over, for a serious incident to happen. If you have to step away for a while to get something, then make sure that there is another person there who can keep an eye on the food for you and make sure that the appliance is safe.
Getting Your Balcony Ready for Cooking
Now you know more about staying safe and making sure that cooking on your apartment balcony is going to be a pleasant experience, it’s time to get your balcony ready for cooking. There are several things that you can do to make it a better experience for everybody. These include:
Clear the Space
Depending on how many people you are going to be entertaining, the apartment balcony can get quite cramped. So, before you start, clear the space to make as much room as possible not only for your grill or other cooking appliance, but also for people to sit and eat. Consider changing up your garden furniture to something that will accommodate more people if needed, such as a small sofa for your balcony instead of individual chairs.
Add Mood Lighting
If you are going to be cooking on your apartment balcony in the evenings, you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of light. There are several options for adding more light to your apartment balcony. Solar lights are the best option as these do not need to be plugged into an outlet and can be placed anywhere. String lighting is a great way to give your balcony more of a cozy feel during summer evenings.
Make it Comfortable
Finally, if you plan to make the most of your balcony and cook and eat on it as much as you can, then you’ll want to ensure that it is a comfortable area. There are lots of things that you can add to make the space more homely and comfortable such as an outdoor rug and cushions and throws for your outdoor seating.
If you have an apartment balcony, then it’s a great space for cooking and entertaining in the summer. But before you start, you will need to make sure that your balcony is a safe and effective space to cook in.
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