Skip to main content

Urban BBQ: Embrace Indoor Grilling With Kenyon’s City Grill

indoor grilling
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Of all summer possibilities, BBQing is easily one of the greatest. However, grilling is widely considered an activity that requires a large amount of space; many of us who live in apartment buildings, condos, or other urban spaces feel locked out of this kingdom. In reality, urban/indoor grilling is possible — especially if you get your hands on a City Grill from Kenyon. For help putting together an indoor grilling guide, we reached out to Mike Williams, the Grill Specialist for Kenyon.

1. Get an Electric Grill

Cooking with an open flame is fine when you have miles of sky above you, but not so much if you live in cramped quarters. Since electric grills do not have an open flame, they’re legit for use in apartment and condos. Though you can use any electric grill on your balcony or building roof, or any indoor-grade grill (hello, George Forman!), we really don’t think you can do any better than the City Grill.

“We noticed that there was a need for a safe grilling option,” says Williams. “We needed to make something that wouldn’t catch fire, and wouldn’t have any flare-ups or smoke. So we developed our City Grill, which eliminated all those drawbacks from grilling while giving the user the benefits of the grill marks, grill flavor, and the overall enjoyment of grilling.”

The City Grill is small, portable, and easy to use. Williams goes on to extol the main benefit of the grill: “It’s the only grill that’s UL-approved for indoor and outdoor use, so people who live in an apartment can take it outside to the balcony, or if it’s cold out they can bring it inside, and use it the exact same way they would if they were grilling outdoors.” The City Grill is meticulously designed to give off very little smoke — definitely not enough to set off a smoke alarm (or your neighbors).

Related: BBQ Trends Just in Time for Summer

2. Evaluate Your Space

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you have enough for grilling, we promise you. You just have to make sure you’re realistic about the type and volume of grilling you can achieve. “For small spaces, you need to think about how much room you have to prepare,” says Williams. “The types of food that you would grill if you had a big backyard are probably not going to be as open to you.”

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to cook multiple racks of ribs at a time, or stick a whole pork butt in the smoker and leave it in there all day. You’ll also need to think about your grilling capacity in terms of the number of guests you’re inviting — don’t make food for 40 people if you can only fit 10 into your tiny apartment.

CityGrill-Grill Cart
Image used with permission by copyright holder

3. Have No Fear

Though grilling indoors presents some limitations, we urge you to push against those limitations as much as possible. Mike Williams shared an anecdote with us regarding the City Grill’s capabilities: “One thing people might not think they can do in a small space is ribs,” he says. “We actually won a BBQ competition against Jackson charcoal grills using our own grill to cook ribs, proving that indoor grillers can still achieve legitimate BBQ-style ribs.”

Whether you’re into grilling steak, burgers, hot dogs, fish, veggies, pineapple, or literally anything else, a good indoor electric grill should accommodate your needs. The only limitation, which we mentioned above, is the volume of food. The City Grill even offers something that gas and charcoal grills can’t deliver: The ability to add flavor by adding any kind of beverage to the drip tray. “I put wine in there if I’m cooking steak, then take the wine out after I’m done and turn that into a nice little dressing over the steak itself,” says Williams. “You can put Sprite in there if you’re doing fish, or you can put beer in there if you’re doing burgers or brats. To get the smoky flavor you’d get from a charcoal grill, you can put some liquid smoke in the bottom.” Whichever liquid you choose, you can count on the flavor evaporating into your food during the cooking process.

As a reader of internet articles, you probably don’t appreciate having products jammed into your face. Sorry about that. We wouldn’t do this to you unless we truly believed the City Grill was a great product, which we do, and it is. We will leave you with one more piece of indoor grilling inspiration, courtesy of Grill Specialist Mike Williams: “Don’t be scared of getting creative. There’s no reason to sacrifice the enjoyment of grilling whatever you want just because you live in a small space or an urban setting.” So get out there — or in there, as the case may be — and get grilling.

The City Grill is available for sale at Kenyon’s website for $475

TJ Carter
Former Digital Trends Contributor
TJ Carter wears many hats, both figuratively and literally. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a degree…
What is a gruit, and where can you find one?
Gruit, the beer made without hops that you need to try
Beer snifter chalice glass

Most beers you know and love today have four primary ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. That’s largely due to the centuries-old German beer purity law, or reinheitsgebot, which demanded that beer be made exclusively using these ingredients and set the standard for today’s brews. 
But beer is an ancient beverage — historians believe its story stretches back to 5th millennium BC in Iran and went on to be enjoyed by the likes of Egyptian pharaohs and the Greek philosophers. However, if Socrates or Tutankhamun ever enjoyed a pint in their days, the beer was likely missing one of those four critical ingredients: the hop.
In today’s hop-hungry climate of India pale ales (and hazy IPAs, New England IPAs, as well as milkshake IPAs, and others), it seems impossible that beer could exist without hops. The fact is that many other natural ingredients can serve as substitutes for the bittering, aromatic, and flavoring characteristics of hops. Today, if a beer relies on other herbs to fill the "hops" role, the beverage is classified as a gruit.

Gruit is the German word for herb. Instead of depending on hops, these brews use exotic additives like bog myrtle, horehound, elderflowers, and yarrow to offset the sweetness of the malts and create a more complex beverage.
Thanks to the creativity of modern breweries, you don’t have to travel back to the Middle Ages to find a gruit (though if you can, please let us in on your time travel technology). You can try them right now, but you will have to do some detective work.
“Authentic” gruits can be tough to find in the mainstream marketplace. That’s because some laws require hops to be present for a product to be sold as beer. Not having the “beer” title would limit distribution and sales channels for some breweries.  To illustrate how rare gruits are in the current marketplace, there are currently 32,576 American IPAs listed on the Beer Advocate database and only 380 gruits.
But don’t despair — this list will help you get started on the path toward discovering modern versions of the ancient ale. Start your gruit journey here:

Read more
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s competing recipes for National Michelada Day
Smokey, fruity, or spicy - there's a Michelada recipe for every taste
national michelada day modelo x dos hombres hero image 1

Today, July 12, is National Michelada Day, so that's the ideal excuse to kick back with this classic Mexican beer cocktail. Beer cocktails aren't the easiest thing to create as beer has such a low alcohol percentage and high amount of water compared to spirits -- but when you get it right, there are few things more refreshing. As the beloved combination of Mexican lager, lime, and tomato juice proves, there's a great way to mix almost any ingredient.

Another fun aspect of the Michelada is its flexibility. You can use clamato juice in place of the tomato juice, pour in an extra shot of spirit, and add whatever combination of hot sauces or umami sauces that your heart desires. As the drink is traditionally served in a glass with a salt rim, you can also add bonus flavors here like making a chili salt or using salt and pepper. And of course you can garnish with anything from fruit to pickles.

Read more
Make a party punch in a snap with this Fancy Long Island Iced Tea recipe
Julianna McIntosh's Fancy Long Island Iced Tea with Boozy Ice Cubes
fancy long island iced tea unnamed 5

Here at The Manual, we love a big bowl of punch for a summer party when you have a bunch of friends coming round and you want to serve tasty drinks to everyone without any fuss. And with a few extra flourishes, like fresh fruit and fancy ice cubes, you can turn any simple punch recipe into something really special.

A new recipe from Julianna McIntosh, aka join_jules, makes use of ready to drink cans of Cutwater Long Island Iced Tea to make creating a punch even easier. McIntosh shows off her punch recipe in a new Instagram Reel, which includes making boozy ice cubes with edible flowers ahead of time. These cool the drink but don't water it down as they melt, which is a genius hack especially for hot summer parties.

Read more