Although the oppressive, triple digit temperatures that plagued much of the country last week have subsided, you may still be thinking of creative ways to keep your home cool while dodging equally oppressive electric bills.

One popular method is to avoid using the oven whenever possible — because why use it when your home feels like one — and to instead partake in some good, old-fashioned microwave cookery. However efficient compared to traditional ovens, microwaves still do draw electricity and are often considered somewhat déclassé in the era of Slow Food and de-cluttered kitchens. So when nuking your nosh-ables isn’t an option, you can also head outside and prepare a meal over a hot bed of charcoals.

Below are six standout, charcoal-based BBQ grills ideal for days when you really can’t stand the heat and need to get out of the kitchen. Unlike the gas-powered behemoths found in many backyards, these lean, mean grilling machines are both petite and portable making them urbanite-friendly and easy to bring along on your next adventure in the great outdoors. And sure, these eye-catching, space-efficient models aren't large enough to accommodate a raging vegan BBQ but for a small meal of grilled asparagus and free-range chicken, they'll do just fine.

Black + Blum Hot Pot BBQ @ Black + Blum ($124)

Eva Solo Table Grill @ A + R Store ($360)

HotSpot Notebook Portable Charcoal Grill @$34.95)

Bodum Frykat Grill @ Crate & Barrel ($49.95)

Suck UK Fire Bucket BBQ @ Blue Ribbon General Store ($80)

Saga Form BBQ Mini Grill with Bag @ Royal Design ($57)

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Hot and bothered: 6 space-saving grills for when turning on the oven isn't an option
If it's too sweltering to use the oven and you reserve your microwave strictly for reheating and popcorn-based purposes, consider cooking alfresco with a petite