No Backyard, No Problem: How to BBQ Without a Grill or Smoker

Imagine the mouthwatering aroma of sizzling barbecue wafting through the air on a warm summer day. For many, the thought of a perfectly grilled steak or tender, smoky ribs is enough to make their taste buds dance with anticipation. However, only some have the luxury of owning a spacious backyard or the freedom to fire up a traditional grill or smoker.

That's where WE LOVE FIRE® steps in – your friendly neighborhood experts in BBQ, hearth, and patio. In this blog, we'll address the challenges faced by apartment dwellers, grill enthusiasts with limited space, and those without access to traditional grilling equipment. We'll provide practical tips on how to BBQ without a grill, charcoal, or a smoker. Let's dive right in!

1.     How to BBQ Without Charcoal:

Grilling without charcoal might seem daunting, especially if you want that classic smoky flavor it imparts. But fear not! You can still achieve that irresistible BBQ taste using alternative methods.

However, if you miss wood flames but want to avoid annoying your neighbors, why not consider the ideal compromise? You will find a perfect example of this in the Ambiance® Fiero® Smokeless fire pit. It uses pellets or firewood, yet due to its design, it produces hardly any smoke!

A collage of pictures of the smokeless firepit Fiero by Ambiance

Smokeless Firepit Fiero® by Ambiance®

Or, instead of charcoal, opt for a portable propane or electric grill. These compact devices are perfect for apartment balconies or small patios. They offer consistent heat and make it easy to control cooking temperatures. Also, consider a portable outdoor pizza oven like the Pizzero® by Ambiance®.

A man is doing a pizza in the pizza oven Pizzero® by Ambiance®

Pizza Oven Pizzero® by Ambiance®

Another great option is a stovetop grill pan. These pans are designed to mimic the searing and grill marks you'd get on a traditional grill. Place it on your stovetop, preheat it, and grill your favorite meats and veggies.

2.     How to BBQ Without a Grill:

Not having a grill doesn't mean you have to miss out on the joy of BBQ. There are alternative cooking methods that can deliver that classic BBQ flavor.

  • One popular option is using your oven's broiler. Simply set the range to the broil setting, place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and put your seasoned meat or veggies under the broiler. Keep a close eye on them, and you'll achieve that perfect char and smoky taste.
  • Alternatively, try a cast-iron grill pan or skillet on your stovetop. These versatile tools can create grill marks and impart that coveted smokiness to your dishes. And if you want to impress your friends, cast iron grill presses are readily available to provide those grill marks on your steak!

A steak in a cast iron

3.      How to BBQ Without a Smoker:

While smokers are fantastic for infusing deep, smoky flavors, not everyone can access one. But there's no need to despair; you can still achieve smoky goodness in your BBQ creations.

  • One simple technique is to use wood chips or wood chunks. Soak them in water for about 30 minutes, then wrap them in aluminum foil, poke a few holes in the packet, and place it on your grill or in your oven. The smoldering wood will add that signature smokiness to your food.
  • Another option is to use liquid smoke. It's a concentrated, natural flavoring that captures the essence of smoke. Mix it into your marinades, sauces, or rubs to infuse your dishes with smoky goodness.
  • For those looking for a more hands-on approach, you can explore a smoking gun kit for food and drinks. These nifty gadgets infuse various dishes and beverages with a delightful smoky aroma. Load the chamber with wood chips, ignite them, and let the smoke work its magic. Your culinary creations will have that authentic smoky flavor that BBQ enthusiasts crave.

A smoker gun

  • Additionally, on the market, you can find versatile appliances designed to offer both grilling and smoking capabilities. These devices are equipped with innovative features like temperature control and smoke infusion using wood pellets, ensuring your BBQ dishes turn out perfectly every time.

In conclusion, BBQ enthusiasts can still enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of barbecue regardless of their living situation or equipment limitations.

Your friendly WE LOVE FIRE® local dealer should be your first stop and resource for all things BBQ. They are here to help you find the perfect solution to your grilling needs, providing expert advice and access to the latest equipment.

Whether it's grilling without charcoal, without a grill, or without a smoker, there's always a way to savor the deliciousness of BBQ. So, get creative, explore new methods, and don't let anything stop you from indulging in barbecue delights! Happy grilling!

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186


For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

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