photos © Jonna Reilly Photography

Grilling in the City

Grilling in the City

Summer grilling season is heating up. So it’s a good time to talk about some home improvements that might make grilling in the city more convenient.

Here’s the perennial debate: Do you buy a charcoal grill or a gas one? Charcoal boasts unbeatable smoky flavor and is budget-friendly. If you have a small, urban patio or deck, charcoal grills are compact and portable, too. 

Gas grills fire up quickly. There’s no need to fill a gas grill with messy charcoal, lighter fluid and matches.  A simple push of a button ignites the grill.  Cleaning is simple with a sweep of a wire brush.  And heat control is a snap.  Just a turn of a knob controls the size of the flame and temperature of the grill.  But gas grills need wood chips and a smoker box to provide a robust flavor.

If you decide on a gas grill, you can install an outdoor natural gas line.  If you are building new construction, this is easy to do. Your plumber can simply run the appropriate size cast iron gas line to the location of your choice.  Popular locations for grilling include roof top decks (including on top of the garage in the city), back decks and patios.  If you want to run a new natural gas line in an existing home, it may be more difficult. It could possibly require some demolition and repair work to extend an existing gas line to the outdoors. But at the end of the project you’ll have a gas line to your favorite grilling location.

Your natural gas line can also power a patio heater, gas fireplace and fire pit. The gas line likely will be less expensive than buying propane tanks. Natural gas also burns cleaner than propane, which is better for the overall environment and the air quality in your immediate outdoor space. If you already have a propane-burning gas grill, you could consider purchasing a conversion kit.

No matter what grill you choose, your reward will be some of the tastiest bites of the season.

If you’re burning to buy or sell a home, be sure to contact Jim Miller and JM Partners at 773.617.6638 or