Can You Grill Under a Pergola?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: April 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Outdoor grilling is one of the most favorite cooking methods that’s loved by almost everyone. The unique, smokey flavor that an open flame adds is hard to match.Some just love the idea of enjoying the beautiful scenery outside while grilling. For some others, it’s the cool breeze and sunshine that makes grilling so much fun.

However, on so many occasions, you’re grilling in an open space, and an unforeseen event like rain or a hot sun comes and ruins it for you. That being said, can you grill under a pergola? 

You can grill under a pergola. It’s a beautiful experience that you’ll relish, especially if it’s done in a group like a family reunion or just with friends. All you need to do is decide which grilling technique suits you best and stick with the safety precautions. 

So read on as I explore the different grilling possibilities, how safe grilling is, and the level of clearance you need to grill safely. 

Can a Grill be Under a Covered Patio?

Grilling can be carried out under a covered patio. This is especially true for gas grills. When you grill under a covered patio, you are confident of seeing your grilling through, come rain come shine.

There are so many benefits to grilling under a covered patio. One is protection from the elements. When grilling in an open space, one issue to contend with is the elements, especially rain.

For example, if you used a charcoal grill, you may have gone through the stress of setting up the fire, and an unforeseen rain may come and quench your fire. This can really be annoying.

Additionally, if you are grilling on an uncovered patio, it can be uncomfortable grilling in hot weather on a hot sunny day. More so, your grilling equipment is more durable as they are well protected from moisture which can cause them to rust. 

Cross Ventilation Considerations

However, you should not do grilling on a screened patio or a canopy-covered patio. Also, you should be careful with gas grills because even though they are best for a covered patio, they have a higher risk of fires. This is because of the danger of gas leaks that can cause explosions. 

In addition, you want to make sure that you have a minimum ceiling of nine feet high. It’s even better if it is higher because the smoke can better escape this way.

There should also be access to a lot of winds to do away with the smoke. Furthermore, you should not situate the grill so that it’s too close to the house because the heat through thermal radiation can destroy adjacent structures like plastics or even ignite a fire. 

More importantly, you should not use a charcoal grill in an enclosed area for fear of asphyxiation. 

It’s also important to point out that the smoke can stain the interior of the ceiling of your covered patio. So you may need to change it after some time. Also, grease fires, sparks, and breakup flames can cause more significant damage in a covered patio than open air. 

Is it Safe to Grill Under a Pergola?

Grilling under a pergola is safe if safety measures are adhered to. This is because grilling uses fire and produces a lot of heat and smoke, which can be dangerous if the safety measures are not put in place and used. Additionally, you should also know the dangers associated with the different types of grills before choosing one. 

When grilling under your pergola, there are two methods you may choose from. First, you may grill using either charcoal or propane gas.

Whichever method you choose to go with, just ensure that you follow the safety measures provided by the producers so that you don’t end up setting your pergola ablaze and, in the end, destroying your house. 

Between the two methods, no one is safer than the other. Because both have their peculiarities. To illustrate, charcoal produces a lot of heat which can be dangerous if your pergola has exposed woods or combustible materials lying around.

In addition, one more thing you also need to consider is that charcoal grilling produces a lot of carbon monoxide. This can accumulate with time, especially if your pergola is enclosed and cause deleterious effects on your health.

Things to Consider

On the other hand, gas or propane grills produce less heat but are prone to gas leaks which can cause an explosion. So if you want to grill under a pergola, these are some of the things worth noting before choosing the most preferred method of grilling. 

You should ensure that the location of your grills should be on a sturdy, clean, and flat surface. In addition, it should be a bit far from potentially combustible materials like waste bins, plastic materials, gasoline, and others.

Also, keep it far from trees that are low-lying and creeping shrubs. This is because the intense smoke can destroy your plants’ leaves and cause them to die. It can also cause a fire if the heat is intense enough.

Clearance and Fire Considerations

You should also ensure that the ensuing heat and smoke have enough room to escape. Also, do not position your grill against or close to any of the beams. This is because the heat from the grill may lead to their weakening with time. 

Furthermore, you should not situate your grill under any roof that is not protected and combustible. If, however, your roof has exposed wood, you should provide more clearance above the grill because wood is prone to fire. 

Also, your grill should be a minimum of ten feet away from your deck railings, garage, and other structures and even your house in general. Never use your grill in an enclosed area such as a garage or even within your house. This is to minimize the danger of fire outbreaks and asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Whatever the type of grill you have, whether gas or charcoal, you should also not leave your grilling unmanned or unattended. You should constantly be checking in on your grilling. Furthermore, you should have fire extinguishers in hand so that you can use them to put out fires whenever there’s a fire outbreak. 

Can you grill under a Pergola?

How Much Clearance Do You Need Above a Grill?

Clearances are essential because we are talking of fire here. Clearances help ensure safety during grilling. You should ensure proper clearance between combustibles and the grill.

It is recommended by most manufacturers of grills that you have a minimum distance of three feet (that is one meter or thirty-six inches) between your home and the pergola. Also, there should be a minimum of at least nine feet between the grill and the roof.

This is to prevent a fire hazard or soot accumulation that could discolor your pergola. No matter the type of grill you have, always ensure that you stick to the three-foot rule when setting up your grill.

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