Although we love to cook food in the backyard, sometimes, it’s just too cold, windy, or rainy. When that’s the case, the first thought that comes to mind is to put the grill under the patio or carport.
For the prudent homeowner or renter, this can’t help but beg the question: Is it even a good idea to grill on a covered porch?
Grill under a covered porch only if you have adequate ventilation and the ceiling is a reasonable distance from the flame. As long as your grill is well-maintained, this is generally safe to do as long as you do not leave it unattended.
Right off the bat, there are two disadvantages to this that you need to know about:
First, the ceiling rooftop may discolor, especially if you sear meat over high heat, in which case the fat flares up and gives off plenty of smoke.
Second, moist meats have the tendency to splatter all over the floor, making it greasy and requiring more clean-up than usual.
Keep these trade-offs in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of grilling under a covered patio vs. sliding the steaks under the broiler in your kitchen. Know that you’re not alone; many choose to grill under a covered patio.
After all, the patio is a safe, shielded to enjoy a piece of nature from the confines of your home… as long as you make the most of the shelter it gives you—and do so safely. We will give our best safety suggestions for every type of grill below, so read on.
The Hazards of Grilling Under a Covered Porch
To determine just how good of an idea it is to grill under a covered porch, let’s first talk about the hazards that come with it.
Enclosed spaces can hinder air circulation, creating a fire hazard. Compared to the yard, the porch is kept dry, and it could catch on fire faster because of the materials surrounding it, such as wood and wicker furniture.
If you do this oven and you have family, friends, or neighbors over, determine if your homeowner’s policy covers outdoor cooking. Lest you want to be held liable for damage caused by a burning roof, including injuries and property damage from a fire caused by grilling on a covered porch.
Setting the fire hazard aside for a second, there’s also the matter of comfort. Good ventilation is necessary to prevent the fumes from getting trapped inside your grill and drenching you—and everyone else around you—with smoke.
Possible Outcomes If Caught Cooking Under A Covered Porch
If you rent, and you’re caught grilling under a covered porch without prior agreement with your landlord, you may lose your renter’s rights and be evicted.
Cookouts can happen during formal events such as family reunions and parties; not every party is considered an event if they invite strangers into their home.
You could also be reported to the local fire department and fined for starting a fire under a covered porch that could spread and cause extensive damage to your property.
Suppose you are caught by law enforcement while grilling after a complaint. It would be best to immediately put the grill out because it alarms people if smoke comes from any structure or vehicle.
In that case, the law must investigate to ensure that everything is safe.
The Hazards of Grill Fires Under A Covered Porch
As grillers, we’re playing with fire. And though we do so in a controlled way, fires are a real possibility.
It could be because the grill unit is faulty, and gas leaking from internal parts could cause malfunctions that lead to a fire hazard. A lack of knowledge of adequately using the grill may also cause a function to catch on fire.
If you have a gas grill, it is best to turn off the tank when not in use. If you don’t know how to shut it off, ask someone who does or follow further instructions in your manual to ensure that all parts are turned off properly. This includes leaking valves and no hot parts exposed when you move them anywhere.
If there is a fire hazard while grilling under a covered porch, take action immediately. Don’t let it burn for long because this could cause extensive damage to your property and/or harm anyone standing around watching.
The Potential Hazards of Different Grills
There is a potential hazard to gas, pellet, and charcoal grills. Each one is different and must take additional precautions.
Gas grills do not require much in the way of ventilation, but you should still have proper ventilation when using one because fumes can still escape and cause harm to anyone around you.
We noticed the roof may become discolored due to the gas flames from a gas grill, and grease flare-ups from lack of maintenance on grills are dangerous to catch the roof on fire.
It is essential to take the necessary precautions with charcoal grills; make sure there are no rocks or flammable materials anywhere near where you set up your grill unless it is recommended for outdoor use by the manufacturer.
Also, make sure that the person fueling (adding more charcoal) knows how to do so safely without flares or sparks starting a fire. Remember that the charcoal embers are just as dangerous at starting fires as the flames.
If you are using a pellet grill, avoid covering it while cooking; this could cause too much heat inside, increasing the risk of internal malfunctions.
Remember that you must take precautions for each type of grill. It doesn’t matter if the pellet grill has a cover or not; it needs proper ventilation. Don’t let anything obstruct any ventilation on your pellet grill, and make sure that no vents are blocked by anything while cooking.
The Safety Measures for Grilling Under a Covered Porch
You should always be aware of the safety precautions to take when grilling on a covered porch and whether or not it is safe. If you follow these safety measures, you should be able to maintain a good BBQ session under your covered porch.
Always make sure you check with local officials and landlords before lighting up the pit.
Gas Grill Safety Steps
- Shut off gas at the propane tank or cylinder after you are done cooking.
- Ensure the grill is cool before cleaning.
- Clean all ash and debris from the inside of the grill after each use.
- Keep the grill in a well-ventilated area to avoid fumes building up within the enclosed space.
Charcoal Grill Safety Steps
- Never add charcoal while lighter fluid is still ignited. Wait for it to burn out completely before adding more charcoal.
- Don’t put lighter fluid on coals directly; spray it onto a piece of newspaper first. Use caution when igniting the paper to not burn yourself (or children/pets nearby).
- Keep children, pets, and anything flammable away from charcoal, lighter fluid, or lit newspapers.
- Use long-handled tools when grilling to avoid burns.
Pellet Grill Safety Steps
- Ensure all vents are open while cooking so that heat doesn’t build up too much during frying or grilling.
- If any part malfunctions while cooking, turn off the gas at once and do not touch anything until it completely cools down.
- Ensure there are no holes in the pellet grill’s lid (if applicable).
- Check for loose/detached parts of your pellet grill before using it. Always consult an experienced user if you aren’t sure how to use a type of grill.
Summing It All Up
It really is a good idea to grill under a covered porch with ventilation and keep the fire under control.
We realize there are many downsides to grilling under a covered porch. That said, it is an excellent way to stay dry and out of the hot sun when the weather takes its toll.
Just keep safety first!