Best electric BBQ for safe and easy outdoor cooking in 2024

Live in a flat? You can still cook up a storm with these indoor and outdoor safe electric BBQs.

best electric bbq balcony

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

The best electric BBQs are a great option for those not blessed with a large outdoor space or are looking to get that BBQ experience without the hassle and cleanup involved with gas and charcoal. Nothing says spring or summer like the smell of a freshly lit BBQ, and not having a garden or outdoor space doesn't mean you can't enjoy yummy BBQ food surrounded by your loved ones - even if your balcony is on the small side.

Electric BBQs are continuing to grow in popularity, with many opting for smaller and more compact and portable BBQs that they can take on the move. Last year, balcony-safe electric BBQ searches were up a whopping 267 per cent, as many got ready to play host to family and friends over the May Bank Holidays.

Best electric BBQs at a glance:

• Best overall electric BBQ: Ninja OG701UK Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker - View on Ninja
• Best value electric BBQ: TOWER electric indoor BBQ - View on TOWER
• Best luxury electric BBQ: Weber Lumin Electric BBQ, Black - View on John Lewis

This huge increase in shoppers hunting for the best electric BBQ, especially for their balcony, could be down to local councils and supermarkets shunning disposable BBQs as they are becoming a relic of pre-environmentally conscious times. And with electric BBQs producing an almost smokeless experience, they're much more neighbour-friendly. We're only expecting these numbers to continue to grow in 2024 as electric BBQs become more common on the market.

In this guide, we've rounded up the best electric BBQs, from compact tabletop grill-style options that are safe to use on your balcony to larger options with all the bells and whistles.

Best electric BBQ for balcony and beyond

Best overall electric BBQ

With a whole load of five-star reviews and a celebrity chef endorsement from none other than Gino DiCampo, the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker is constantly selling out for all the right reasons. Designed to allow users to enjoy authentic Woodfire flavours in any outdoor space using 100 per cent real wood-burning pellets, the innovative new Electric BBQ Grill simply needs to be plugged in and is ready to go, with no need for charcoal, gas or flames. There is seven functions under one lid: Grill, Smoke, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat and Dehydrate, and the outdoor cooking possibilities are endless, making it a must-have item for summer cooking.

Our review: "I've always loved a gas BBQ, mainly because it just tastes different to what you can produce in your kitchen oven. It screams summer. However, charcoal is messy, hard to control, and weather reliant. The Ninja Woodfire looks a little intimidating, but once you set it all up and turn it on, I was so shocked at how simple and effective it is to use. The first function I tried was to smoke a leg of lamb at Easter to really put it through its paces. You simply prepare your meat, add the pellets and press a button. Really, it's almost too easy to believe. Fast forward three hours and I've tucked into the softest and most flavoursome lamb I've ever had. I've since air fried some chips, grilled a few burgers and even charred some vegetables for a Sunday dinner. The opportunities are endless."

Read our full Ninja Woodfire grill review


  • Easy to clean
  • Cheap to run
  • You can smoke whole cuts of meat
  • Effortless


  • Needs to preheat
  • Does generate smoke when you use the smoker function

Best electric BBQ for experienced outdoor cooks

Char-Broil SMART-E Electric Barbecue GrillAmazon/Char-Broil

The Char-Broil SMART-E Electric Barbecue Grill features TRU-Infrared Technology that ensures 50 per cent juicier BBQ food. Enjoy an electric BBQ experience without charcoal or gas – controlled via a dial and digital display for precise temperature adjustments. The AUTO CLEAN system simplifies cleaning by burning off residues. A stainless steel grate distributes heat efficiently. In addition, there is a spacious cupboard and foldable side shelves provide storage flexibility.

Our review: "The Char-Broil SMART-E BBQ is an impressive testament to electric grilling technology. Striking a balance between convenience and performance, this BBQ showcases its capabilities with even cooking, reliable temperature control, and the invaluable auto clean-up feature.

"Its key strength lies in its consistent performance. Whether slow cooking or searing, the results are uniformly excellent. While it may lack the traditional smoky flavour imparted by charcoal, the option to introduce wood chips directly onto the grills offers a viable workaround for those craving more BBQ taste."

Read our full review of the Char-Broil SMART-E Electric Barbecue Grill


  • Emitter plate for even heat distribution
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Easy to clean
  • Four castors offer easy mobility


  • Not for beginners to barbecuing

Best luxury electric BBQ

Weber Lumin Electric BBQ, BlackJohn Lewis/Weber

If you're looking to invest in an outdoor BBQ that you can use on your balcony and beyond, the sleek Weber Lumin Electric BBQ really does offer it all. It reaches temperatures over 315°C for high-quality searing and offers a smoke infusion option that further enhances that grill flavour you crave. It can also keep food warm so everyone can serve themselves. The collapsible stand is easy to set up and provides added space and built-in tool hooks.


  • Smoke infusion
  • Compact and easy to move around
  • Luxury finishes
  • Easy to maintain temperature consistency


  • Can be tricky to clean the pan
  • Needs to be cleaned after every use otherwise it affects cooking quality

Best for compact size

Weber Q1400 Electric Grill Amazon/Weber

This Weber Q1400 Electric Grill has been dubbed the original electric BBQ and the one that made grilling simple and easier than ever. Popular with campers, the grill comes with a 2.2kW of power, a cast aluminium body and lid and cast iron cooking grates. We love the handles on the side that makes it super easy to move and carry around.

**Hungry for more? Read our round up of the best Weber BBQs.
Customer review: "So easy to put together. I was tired of coals and waiting hours for a traditional BBQ. With this electric BBQ the trick is quality meat and investment in great marinades. American quality- would highly recommend. Cooks meat perfectly."


  • Easy to put together
  • Cover keeps the heat consistent
  • Creates sear marks on meat


  • Difficult to clean after use
  • No temperature display

Best value electric BBQ

TOWER Electric Indoor / Outdoor BBQTOWER
Price: £42.99 (was £59.99)

Made for use indoors and outdoors, this 2-in-1 TOWER electric indoor BBQ can be used as a table-top indoor grill or a BBQ with legs. We love the simple-to-use controls that allow you to adjust the temperature and feature an indicator light that lets you know when the grill has reached the perfect temperature. The removable non-stick grill plate is designed for healthy cooking with cut-out holes to allow excess fat to drain into the drip tray below and easily remove food residue with a simple wipe clean. Despite looking small, the plate can cook up to ten burgers at a time.

Customer review: "Very easy to set up. Bought to use when just the two of us rather than setting up the large gas BBQ. Heats quickly, and any fat drains into the receptacle underneath. All parts are easy to clean. Cooks food evenly. Great little BBQ."


  • Removable legs so can be used as a tabletop grill
  • Fat drip tray included
  • Good size for small households
  • Portable for camping


  • Some reviews have commented that it's a little flimsy
  • Missing parts have been reported on delivery

Best round-shaped electric BBQ

George Foreman Indoor Outdoor BBQ Grill 22460, BlackAmazon/George Foreman

If you're short on space, this round indoor and outdoor BBQ from George Foreman will easily fit in a corner of your balcony or outdoor space. Features a variable temperature gauge, non-stick, easy-clean removable plates and angled cooking plates that drain away fat and grease from foods into an integrated drip tray. Perfect if you fancy cooking more healthy meals.

Customer review: "Really pleased. Got this in the sale for my roof terrace as was a little worried about having a traditional hot coal bbq up there with it being quite windy at times. It is excellent. Cooks food v.well and quickly. Simple to set up and easy to clean. You can also use it without the stand on a table top if you prefer. In my opinion I think the stand could have been a bit more solid/sturdy but it does the job and for the price, ease of use and quality I would definitely recommend."


  • Gets to temperature quickly
  • Easy-to-clean removable plates
  • Temperature regulating


  • Stand can be wobbly
  • Lid isn't hinged

Best tabletop electric BBQ

 Quest 35910 2000W Indoor Electric BBQ Grill/Adjustable Temperature Gauge/B&Q/Quest
Price: £22.99

This easy-to-use and small Quest Indoor Electric BBQ Grill has been made specifically for indoor and outdoor use and can be placed straight on your table and even has removable feet, so you don't have to worry about not having the room. The grill plate is chrome plated and features an innovative water-filled drip tray that helps to reduce odours and smoke, ensuring your home or balcony area can stay smelling fresh throughout the cooking process.

Customer review: "No garden or in a flat? This works great. You just add water to the base and start cooking. The taste is great but of course it doesnt have the authentic BBQ taste as there is no charcoal. But it is quick to get started, meat cook quick and it looks great on a table where people can cook their own food."


  • Super easy to use and clean
  • Great value
  • Water drip tray is so useful


  • It is small

Best for healthy cooking

George Foreman Smokeless BBQ Large Health Grill 25850Wayfair/George Foreman
Price: £69.99 (was £86.71)

George Foreman grills are famous for helping you cook delicious food without all the grease, and the Smokeless BBQ Large Health Grill is no different. As well as the drip tray that collects fat and grease, the Smokeless Open Grill Technology eliminates greasy smells so that you can effortlessly bring the outdoor cooking experience indoors. We love the non-stick removable plates that are super easy to clean.

Customer review: "I am really pleased with my new health grill. It is so easy to use and food tastes great with fewer calories too. As it's flat it's easy to store."


  • Super easy to clean
  • Heats up quickly
  • Can be used indoors
  • Fits a large amount of food on the plate


  • More of a smokeless griddle pan rather than a BBQ
  • Temperature maintenance needs practice

Best electric BBQ for compatibility with solar panels

Cadac E-Braai 40 Electric BBQRobert Dyas/Cadac

Tailored for contemporary lifestyles, the Cadac E-Braai 40 Electric BBQ is your ultimate solution for sizzling BBQ feasts in a small outdoor space. It boasts intelligent auto-temperature control technology, ensuring optimal searing and flavour. Ideal for urban settings such as patios, balconies or terraces, this barbecue combines convenience with performance. Its features include a dome lid with a built-in thermometer and a stay-cool handle. Also, there's a ceramic Greengrill 36cm BBQ grid plate, a removable pot stand and a porcelain enamelled fat pan. With a powerful 2kW electric heat coil and rubber feet to prevent slipping, this grill provides both reliability and safety. Additionally, it comes with a storage bag for added portability. Some customers comment that they power theirs with solar panels, so it costs nothing to run.

Customer review: "Brilliant bit of kit. Easy to operate and to clean and just love that it's easy to control the temperature."


  • Smart auto-temperature control
  • Easy to use
  • Accessories available


  • Be aware it can't match the authenticity of charcoal grill and the smoky flavours

Best electric BBQ for style

Boss Grill Compact Electric BBQ Grill with CoverAppliances Direct/Boss

This Boss BBQ is the business! At less than £100, the Boss Grill Compact Electric BBQ Grill offers effortless cooking at the flick of a switch. Adjust the heat from sizzling to warm instantly using the variable temperature control knob. Whilst the built-in thermometer eliminates the guesswork. Its flameless design makes it perfect for apartment balcony use. There are two built-in side tables for spices, utensils and other barbecue essentials. Also, there is a removable drip tray for easy disposal of excess grease. Plus, a cover is included to protect your grill all-year-round. Though assembly is required, be prepared to grill in just 40 minutes.

Customer review: "BBQ works great. Assembly instructions were good and clear. Used a few times now and the food cooks great on it. Fat drops away with no problems which helps prevent flame ups. The warming rack does its job too."


  • Flameless cooking
  • Fast heat-up
  • Easy to move around


  • A customer comments that it would be great if the height of the food from the heat source could be varied

FAQs: Best electric BBQ

What is the difference between an electric BBQ and a gas BBQ?

Most people are familiar with gas BBQs, charcoal and hybrid BBQs, but electric BBQs are plugged into the mains and much easier to control. There is no need to use charcoal or gas cylinders.

Can you use BBQs on balconies?

Before you start barbecuing on your balcony, first check the house rules of your landlord or your building. Even if you own your own flat or apartment, it is worth checking out the rules just to be safe. There is no law that prohibits barbecuing on a balcony, but some buildings have regulations on what is allowed and what isn't. Electric grills are a great option if you're worried about smoke billowing out.

How can I ensure an electric BBQ balcony is safe?

The London Fire Brigade say that you should avoid using a gas, hybrid BBQ or charcoal BBQ on a balcony. If you choose to buy an electric BBQ, you should never leave it unattended and keep it well away from children or anything that might catch fire.

Do electric grills use a lot of electricity?

Electric grills generally consume moderate electricity compared to other cooking methods, but their usage ultimately depends on factors like wattage, duration of use and individual energy rates. In their guide to the pros and cons of electric grills, Char-Broil advise: "Power is everything when barbecuing with electricity! In order to get high enough temperatures for grilling meat without it drying out, and to ensure the grill heats up quickly, you need a device with a power rating of at least 2000 Watts and a maximum temperature of at least 200 °C." In addition, temperatures above 300°C gives more scope for barbecuing a wider range of foods, such as pizza.

Which BBQ brands are best?

Check out our full guide to the best BBQ brands, where our Homes & Garden product writer Natalie Knowles rounds-up the USPs and features of the top names in barbecuing. Whether your looking for a charcoal BBQ, kamado grill or a BBQ that's portable, there are certain brands that offer quality, durability and performance in the grilling industry.

Best budget BBQs for al fresco cooking without the hefty price tag

Best tabletop BBQs for ease and adventures

Charcoal BBQs for an authentic flavour and cookout

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Hannah Mellin is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, A Modern Kitchen, Yours and Take A Break. She has been working in the Journalism industry for over a decade and has written for an array of brands including John Lewis, Daily Mirror and Grazia. When she's not writing, researching or testing products, she's renovating her Victorian terrace and chilling in the garden with her sausage dog Waffle.

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