20 Tips for Gas Grill Placement on Your Deck

A deck is an excellent place for a gas grill. The deck provides a flat, even surface for the grill. A deck is an excellent place for both cooking and entertaining. However, the positioning of your gas grill is important for safety and use.

The best placement for a gas grill on your deck is well-ventilated and sufficiently removed from flammable material like furniture, curtains, vinyl house siding and overhanging branches. The deck environment and access to the grill should also be considered to maximize the enjoyment of your outdoor space and grilling.

Gas grills are safer for use on decks as they are safer than charcoal around combustible material.

For gas grills, there are two popular fuel options: propane and natural gas.

Regardless of the type of gas grill, ventilation is the most crucial consideration for placement.

Beyond ventilation, here are a few tips for better placement of your grill on your deck.

In no particular order, just things to think about while designing your deck and setting up the grill.

1. Place the grill on the deck for a view

The view from your deck enhances your time outdoors.

Don’t block it with a grill. Take a moment to enjoy the view out of your house window, noting the best views and which part of the deck must remain open to enjoy the view. These areas now become your no-grill zones. Keep your view, place the barbeque elsewhere to keep your view.

Don’t forget the “chef” working on the grill. Place the grill so they can enjoy the great outdoors and deck. Set the grill up for between flipping the patties. You can enjoy the scenery.

This can either be by placing the grill behind you, out of the way of the view. Allowing you to enjoy the view between turning the meat on the grill. With the smoke and grill behind you and out of sight.


The barbeque close to the rail. When the lid is up, you focus on the grill.

Lowering the lid to enjoy the view.

2. Place the grill on a higher deck

I love multi-tiered decks with the grill on the higher deck for grilling for two reasons.

  1. Allowing the chef to enjoy the view from his raised platform. Above the furniture and people on the lower deck.
  2. Smoke from the barbeque doesn’t bother those on the main lower deck. The few feet of elevation allow the smoke to blow over their heads. You can be grilling up a storm while your guests are enjoying the sun and a glass of wine.

3. Locate Grill close to workspace

Grilling is fun, but it is also work.

The grill on your deck should be close to a work counter. Something to rest the meat plate on, or tongs. Often, portable barbeques will come with small shelves on the sides. But if your cooking is more elaborate than room on these small shelves, being close to a table or counter will be helpful.

Having two counters or shelves on each side of the grill can be helpful when cooking for larger groups. Providing, a cooked and prepping counter area, keeping the raw patties away from the fresh buns. A convenient workspace by the grill, increasing your grilling pleasure.

4. Account for the prevailing breeze over the deck.

The wind will always blow. That’s a fact, but accounting for it minimizes its negative impact.

In Calgary, where I live and build decks, the wind is often blowing from the west. The Rockies are a freeway for the Pacific Ocean wind.

Setting the grill on the east side of the deck, in Calgary. The smoke is pushed off the deck, away from those enjoying the sun on the deck. Prevailing winds vary by region and terrain.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t want the smoke being pushed into the house. Set the grill up where the prevailing wind will blow the smoke away from the house, not into it.

5. Use a wind wall to Shelter the Grill on your deck

Placing the grill beside a wind wall is wonderful in sheltering the grill while not trapping the smoke. In a windy location, a wind wall will make the difference between grilling or not. Nobody enjoys standing outside in the wind. Incorporating a wind wall to block the wind gives you better flame controls and prevents paper plates from blowing around.

Don’t forget. An attached deck comes with a “built-in” wind wall, your house. Position the barbeque to take advantage of the shelter provided by the house. Just not to close that it melts the siding or worse.

6. Locate the grill close to Storage

The barbeque brush, tongs, meat forks used for grilling, you will want all of it convenient located by the grill. Arrange the grill close to a small storage area. A small cabinet or box with a lid to store your grilling utensils. Nothing complicated but still convenient.

Or place the grill close to a kitchen door. For you can easily step inside and grab the tongs, all while still being close to the grill.

7. Position the grill on your deck close to an electrical plug

Enjoying cooking a rotisserie chicken in the barbeque. Don’t make the mistake of having to run a cord across the deck, creating a tripping hazard. Design the deck with a plug close to the grill. Then, you can conveniently roast without a tripping hazard on the deck.

8. Place the grill close to overhead light

Barbequing after a long day can be a great way to destress and enjoy a meal.

But light can be an issue as the sun sets.

Position the grill close to an overhead light. Bright enough to work by, more than an ambience light.

An overhead light will work better than a wall light wall behind you. Shining on your back blocks the light, making it hard to gauge the sear marks on the steak on the grill.

9. A deck roof protecting the grill from the rain

Sheltering the grill from the rain allows you to grill even on those rainy days.

A rainy region, like Vancouver, where you have more rainy days than the sun. A roof over a gas grill allows you to grill even on rainy days. One of the advantages of a gas grill, you can use it under a deck roofOpens in a new tab. if the sides are open for ventilation. A small roof over the grill allows you to barbeque regardless of the weather.

A small note about grill roofs: ideally, the grill roof should be 8’ (2.4m) or higher. Providing enough room for the smoke to rise out of your face.

But rain doesn’t always fall straight down. A grill roof 8’ (2.4m) high will need to extend past the grill 24” (600mm). A higher roof, which is better, will need longer eaves. A 9’ (2.7m) roof should overhang the grill 30-36” (760-900mm) to keep it dry in the rain.

10. Position the deck grill for Ventilation

A deck grill under a roof needs to have ventilation.

Never enclose a grill on the deck.

A cover over a gas grill is fine, but make sure the walls are open enough to allow the air to move the smoke off the deck.

11. Position the grill for shade from the summer heat

The rain is not the only weather to shelter the grill from. Shade from the heat of the sun also can be advantageous.

Position the barbeque to be cooled by the shade as you grill.

“Try and place your BBQ in a position where shade covers it for most of the day. Setting up a grill in the shade is one thing but keeping it there is another.”

Artisan StoneOpens in a new tab.

An open pergola roof is the ideal option. Allows smoke to dissipate while shading the grill.

Plus, you can add an overhead light and plug for the grill on a pergola frame.

Improving the grilling experience while enhancing the deck appearance.

12. Keep the gas grill on the deck away from overhead tree branches

Trees around the deck may be great, providing shade while you grill. But make sure that there is at least 10’ (3m) between the top of the grill and the tree branches. Hate to burn those trees while frying your steaks.  

Besides, leaves from the trees don’t make good toppings and increase cleaning.

13. Place the grill close enough to the house to use the house kitchen

Typically, most food prep is done in the kitchen. Position the grill close enough that you can use the kitchen while grilling outside. If the barbeque is so far away from the house you can’t grab the barbeque sauce without burning the steaks. The grill is too far away from the house.

The added advantage of setting up the grill close to the house and kitchen is it will save you money on not needing an outdoor kitchen. A deck kitchen is nice but expensive. Your deck grill close to your house saves you from having to pay for two kitchens. One in your house and the other one on the deck

14. Locate the grill far enough away from the house

Yes, I just said to place the grill close conveniently close to the house, but it also needs a safe distance between the house and the barbeque.

First, the house is combustible, and you don’t want the grill to damage it. In particular, vinyl siding can easily be melted by the heat of the grill. Most grills’ operator manual will provide the required distance between the vinyl and the grill. Often varying between 6” (150mm) and 24” (600mm) depending on the grill. Take the time to confirm the grill clearance before firing it up.

Secondly, the grill needs to be far enough away for smoke will not enter the house through open windows. Look to see where the opening windows are in the house are in relation to the deck and grill. Prevailing windsOpens in a new tab. on the deck will play a big part.

15. Consider the Dining area in relation to the Grill

Grilling is not just for cooking but also for eating.

Enjoy the meat hot off the grill.

By placing the table close to the grill on the deck.

16. Position the grill to allow conversation with guests as you grill

Having a small area beside the grill will allow you and a friend to chat while cooking.

17. Arrange the grill on the deck away from where children play

Grills are hot, and kidsOpens in a new tab. will always be distracted. Place the grill in a safe place away from where your children will play. Preventing burns and accidents.

 18. Isolate the grill on the deck

Grill bump-outs are a great idea to isolate the grill without removing the grill from the deck area. Extending a small area of the deck to hold the barbeque allows you to fully enjoy the area while having the grill conveniently located off the side of the deck.

The grill on the bump out also minimizes the accidental touching of the grill because three sides are removed from the deck area. Use aluminum railing or material that is not combustible to minimize the required area for the grill on the bump out.

19. Keep the grill away from combustible material

When setting up the grill, check that all combustible material is at a safe distance from the grill. Items to keep in mind are deck railing, house siding and low-hanging branches. The manufacturer’s manual will provide a minimum distance. The required distance often varies between the sides and rear. If in doubt, maintain 10 feet (3m) clearance from all combustible material.

20. Consider deck Traffic flow around the grill

Place the grill on the deck so as not to impede traffic. Consider traffic flow to the door, stairs, table and chairs. You don’t want to be walking around the grill every time you go outside. Set the barbeque in a convenient but out-of-the-way location on your deck.

Bonus Deck Grilling Tip

Protect your decking from the grill. Heat and grease from the grill can damage the decking. A mat under the grillOpens in a new tab. will protect the decking, preventing costly repairs in the future. And if ever the mat becomes too dirty from grease, it can be easily replaced compared to replacing the decking.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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