Australia has seen a rise in apartment, unit and townhouse living and as such, there has been a surge in barbeques for small patios and decks. Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Census of Population and Housing last year showed that Australia-wide, 10 per cent of all residents now live in apartments.
Over the past 25 years, the number of occupied apartments in Australia has increased by 78 per cent to 1,214,372 dwellings. Nearly 2.5 million of us have chosen a smaller footprint for our accommodation for a variety of reasons: cost, convenience and the critical factor of location.
Location equates to lifestyle and Australians love of family, friends, sunshine and entertaining, whether it be an informal gathering or a well-planned soiree we love spending time eating drinking and talking about life in general.
With so many of us living in smaller dwellings, this doesn't mean having to forgo the lifestyle to which all aspire.
Ideal for a casual shindig on the balcony, weekend outings or if you have a small porch or outdoor space. Can be available with detachable shelves or as a table top option. Many use charcoal or other solid fuel, but more gas options are becoming available. These barbeques should move quickly in and out of your small spaces.
A small barbeque is ideal if you're after something a bit more permanent in your courtyard and you don't need to cater to the crowds. Most of these types of barbeques pre-assembled and a lot of retailers often services where they come and set up and install the grill for you. Usually, you end up unpacking and placing it on the trolley. Depending on how many guests you have over, you may have to cook in batches. Some models offer all the features of the larger style BBQs, such as a hood, char-grill plate, solid hotplate and foldable side tables. Some models can accommodate cooking for around 4 to 6 people at once.
Balcony Barbeques – Safety First!
Barbecuing accidents are more likely to occur if you live in an apartment or are cooking in a concealed area. Before buying a new gas barbecue for your balcony:
Check the by-laws for your complex and the owner's corporation (body corporate) to see if there are any restrictions on using a gas barbecue on your balcony. Typically it's in the storing of hazardous material, i.e. an LPG gas cylinder. Check for restrictions in your contract, if you're leasing and if you're permitted to have a gas barbecue on your balcony:
Never store more than one gas cylinder and never place these indoors.
Make sure it's in a very well-ventilated space. Barbecuing in an enclosed balcony is not advisable – even those with louvres, café blinds, or a significant amount of privacy screening could be a hazardous venture.
How much should I pay?
Small BBQs range from just under $200 to around $800. For the higher prices, you should expect to get extra features such as electronic gas ignition, fold-out side tables and more robust construction.
Large BBQs, with three or more burners, come in a range of prices from under $300 to over $4000. It comes down to features that are important to you and what your budget is, I think you always get what you pay for so seek out an expert and tell them what you are looking for and I'm sure they'll find a barbeque that fits your needs.