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Can You Place a BBQ On a Roof/Balcony In Boston?

March 16th, 2018 | 5 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

weber grills

If you live in the City of Boston and have a patio, rooftop, deck or balcony, you may feel your grill options are limited. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know from the City of Boston's rules to what grill options are available to you.


Can you place a BBQ grill on a roof or balcony in Boston?

If you are looking for a grill on your deck or rooftop, you do not have the same choices as a regular home.

Liquid propane (LP or LPG) gas grills, charcoal grills, and wood pellet grills are prohibited on a roof, first-floor porch, deck or balcony in the City of Boston. LPG grills use propane tanks that need to be changed. 

If the tanks are not handled properly, the tanks can explode. LP tanks can also cause carbon monoxide issues. 

We must store our forklift propane tanks outside in a special enclosure for those reasons. 

However, you can still buy a natural gas or electric grill for your rooftop or balcony, as long as it's not enclosed.  In this article, you will learn what you can use and the features of each.

First, a few safety tips from the Mayor's office.

"LPG grills are not permitted inside or on first floor porches, decks or balconies that are enclosed by a roof/ceiling or other confining material of any building or structure used for habitation.

Always locate a barbecue away from any combustible wall. Set up grill in an open area away from buildings, dry leaves or brush. Be aware of the wind blowing sparks.

Place grill on a level surface away from low hanging trees, deck railings, siding or any combustible materials.

It's a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher within handy reach.

Use long handled barbecue tools and flame-retardant mitts.

Do not wear loose clothing and watch for dangling apron strings and shirt tails.

NEVER leave children or pets unattended near a hot grill."

Although I will be going over some good options, you will still have to check your permits in as those can vary depending on your specific situation.

You will probably need a rigger to place a grill on your roof (call Titan in Allston).

Best Grills To Put On Your Roof Or Deck

weber grills

Electric Grills

An electric grill like the Weber Q 1400 series is an economical way to get to grilling in these situations. At only $299, it doesn't do a bad job.

 Weber Q 1400 copy

Electric grills tend to take longer to heat up and then, once heated, they do not get as hot so you need a bit of patience. 

Natural Gas Grills

If you want a real gas grill, natural gas is the way to go. You will just need a plumber to run a gas line to the grill first! That being said, there are tons of great grills on the market that you can order as natural gas. The Lynx, Weber, DCS, and Hestan will all cook a steak well and are some of the better grills to consider.

The following are five of the best grills to consider.

5. Weber Summit Series

Weber 7470001 - $2,529


for this natural gas model This Weber has almost everything at half the price of professional units. You can sear, rotisserie, and smoke with high 60,000 BTU burners.

4. Weber Genesis II and II LX


Weber has completely redesigned their most popular grill with a new first strike ignition, Flavorizer burners for consistency, and a grease management system. You can even monitor your grill with your phone through an app.

3. Hestan

GMBR36CX2-CP-OR - $10,849

Hestan Grill

This grill is the first after years of development from Meyer, a giant commercial supplier and cookware specialist. It's already the best-looking grill available in 12 designer finishes.

It is 25,000 BTU per burner, plus 25,000 just for searing, so it is powerful. It has the best rotisserie system holding 50 pounds of meat with a variable infrared burner of 12-18,000 BTU. You can evenly cook the meat on your rotisserie or on the top shelf, which acts as a salamander broiler, for added capacity. The hood will stop wherever you want, so you can open it slightly to cool down your grill.

2. Lynx

L42PSFR2NG - $6,589


for this natural gas model Lynx started the whole professional grill segment. Its cast brass element is virtually indestructible and has a hot and variable sear. Lynx is known for their trident-shaped burners that are powerful but gentle at a 300-1000 range of degrees. The grill can toast bread or sear tuna without cooking all the way through. This is a fantastic grill with spring assisted hood hinges that make it easy to use.

1. Kalamazoo

K500HS-NG -$18,595


Kalamazoo is a made to order grill. The grill is deeper than any other on the market, providing a natural convection system for more evenly cooked food. Kalamazoo also has the hybrid drawer, so you can use charcoal and/or wood along with the speed of gas. The construction is also incredibly solid.

Which do you buy?

Ultimately, Kalamazoo is considered the best grill out there, but this is a $14k grill. Then again, you can do anything on this grill. Hestan has the solid, diamond cut grates, so it retains heat for a better sear. The rotisserie along with the powerful burner is the best in the industry. Hestan has proven to be a solid grill with the best sear. So if you like a quick sear or maybe searing at a lower temperature with veggies and fruit, then Hestan is a good choice.

Weber has a few good grills. The Summit has many of the premium features of the better grills like a smoker, rotisserie, and sear for half the price. Look at the Weber Genesis LX II for a solid, affordable grill. The evenness of cooking and first strike ignition are worth considering.

Our Final Advice

Although you cannot buy an LPG grill, you can almost buy the corresponding grill in gas. It is more convenient because you do not have to lug the LP tanks to your roof once a month or worry about storing them properly.

Another popular consideration is an island incorporating a refrigerator, warming drawer, side burners, and even refrigerator. You can plan an outside kitchen, so you do not have to walk up and down to the main kitchen.

That said, you do have plenty of options for grills in Boston.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I place a wood pellet grill on my balcony?

If you live in Boston, the answer is no, you can not put a wood pellet grill on your rooftop. Always check with your apartment or condo association and your local laws before buying a grill.

2. How far away should my grill be from my house while grilling?

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, your grill should be a minimum of 10 feet away from your house unless the manufacturer's instructions say it can be closer. 

Here are a few grilling safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:

"Always grill outdoors.

Grills must be 10-feet from the side of a building unless the manufacturer's instructions say it can be closer. Make sure grills are not underneath overhanging branches.

Grills cannot be used on a porch, balcony or deck with a roof, overhang or wall (other than the exterior of the building).

Grills can only be used on open first floor porches, decks or patios if there is an outdoor stairway to the ground, or the porch is at ground level.

Grills cannot be used on fire escapes.

Place grills away from the house and deck railings.

Keep all matches, lighters and lighter fluid away from children.

Keep children and pets three feet away from grills. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders."

Additional Resources

Want to know the latest information on all the best grills? Download the Yale BBQ Grill Buying Guidewith features, BTU outputs of all the grills, and detailed profiles of all the best brands. Well over 240,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

view our bbq buying guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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