Kate and I have found that a grill is one of the most requested amenities from guests. If you have a good outdoor area, some of your guests will want to cook food out there.
The best grill for an Airbnb has these characteristics:
- Simple controls/anyone can use it
- Minimal upkeep
- Protected from water damage
- Low risk of problems
I believe a charcoal grill is always the right choice for an Airbnb because it’s the only type I’ve found that meets all five of these requirements.
Propane is a viable option, but propane grills have a greater potential for problems.
Why We Avoid Propane Grills
I don’t recommend a propane grill for your Airbnb. Anytime we provide something for our guests, we want an item that is intuitive. We don’t want guests calling us with questions about how to use the grill. And they certainly don’t want to have to call us to ask how to use it.
They just want it to work. And so do we.
Sure, a lot of people know how to use a propane grill, but a lot of people don’t. Propane grills have some steps that are not intuitive.
And even we never had a problem with a guest trying to use it, the propane tank would be problematic as well. At some point a guest would want to grill and the propane tank would be empty.
Well I can’t exactly go over there and fill it up myself. It takes time to refill the tanks. Those guests would probably just be out of luck. They might have to go out to eat after having bought dinner to grill. A really bad experience all around.
Unless you want to keep a backup propane tank for your Airbnb grill, I would look at a charcoal or outdoor electric grill.
Best Airbnb Grill: Charcoal
We use a charcoal grill. You might be thinking a charcoal grill has some of the same issues as the propane grill, but not for us.
First, everyone knows how to use a charcoal grill. And that’s what you need.
But for us the charcoal, lighter fluid and lighter don’t pose the same problem as the propane tank.
We make the guests provide their own. And if any gets left behind we just leave them there for the next guests. We’ve never received a complaint or any negative feedback on that policy.
18 Inch Weber Charcoal Grill
This grill is (in my opinion) the ideal grill for an Airbnb. It’s just a classic grill made by Weber, who is known for making solid, long-lasting, indestructible grills.
Everyone knows how to dump charcoal in a grill, drizzle on the light fluid and throw in a match. The ash from grilling falls into the plate underneath which you can just remove and dump.
If someone misuses the grill, it’s still going to work for the next guests. It can get banged up a little bit and still be functioning fine.
And it is resistant to rusting. In my experience, all grills rust in time, but Weber grills are made well and this one should last.
But to maximize the life of the grill I definitely recommend protecting it with a grill cover.
Cover for the 18 inch Weber charcoal grill
If you’d like to further protect your grill, especially from rain, then here’s the grill cover made for the 18 inch Weber charcoal grill.
We actually don’t have a cover on one of our grills because we keep it underneath an overhang. That grill won’t get wet unless there’s flooding of some kind. But we do cover our grills that are exposed to rain.
Our Charcoal Grill Story
We opened another Airbnb a little over a year ago, but we didn’t have a grill yet when we first opened. We planned on getting one, but wanted to pay for it out of the earnings.
The listing opened in September when the weather was still nice, but figured we could make it a few months to winter without having to buy a grill.
One of our first guests asked if we had a grill and of course we said something like “no, but we have a full kitchen and we can bring over a George Foreman grill if you’d like.”
And we didn’t hear back from them after that.
But then when we arrived to clean up after them we found a charcoal grill on our back porch, along with a nearly full bag of charcoal, lighter fluid and a giant bottle of barbecue sauce in the fridge.
When we messaged them to ask if they wanted to come pick up their grill they told us to keep it! And we’ve been keeping it there ever since.
Other Outdoor Grills
There are, of course, more options than just propane and charcoal. But they’re all even worse than propane.
Outdoor electric grills
George Foreman makes an outdoor grill. It has the same surface as the regular Foreman grills, but it’s on a stand and it’s circular like a charcoal grill. It’s easy to use and reasonably durable, but the upkeep would be a serious pain.
Those grills have to be cleaned after every use and you can’t throw them in the dishwasher.
You’d end up cleaning the grill yourself after every guest that used it, and I can say from experience (with the regular Foreman grills), you won’t enjoy it.
I’ll just say this. If I found a smoker at an Airbnb I’m not sure I’d know how to use it. Best to avoid things that your guests won’t know how to use.
Maybe there’s a another kind of grill out there that would work great for you. All your guests would know how to use it, the grill would last for years and you’d have minimal upkeep.
If you find that grill, then great! Please let me know about it!
But chances are most of your guests won’t know how to operate any of the lesser known technology.
In my mind, charcoal grills are the best for Airbnb. No, they aren’t the most glamorous and they certainly don’t feel luxurious, but they check every box.
Plain and simple is always better than confusing or occasionally problematic. So I say go with a charcoal grill for your Airbnb, plain and simple.