As well as protecting your decking, grilling on your barbecue (BBQ) too close to the house and other combustible and flammable objects is something that comes to mind when contemplating hosting a BBQ party. But if you need protection from the sun or rain, is it okay to BBQ under an awning?
It is typically not safe to use a barbecue under an awning unless you consider recommended safety regulations. Grilling under an awning can cause fire damage and, in the wrong conditions, an awning can easily catch fire and spread further to the structure it is attached to.
Awnings can be a cheaper means of providing shade and weather protection in your backyard. Still, if you are considering using your BBQ under an awning, you may want to read further to find out why it’s not such a great idea. However, there are alternate solutions to make your awning BBQ-ready.
Can You Grill Under an Awning?
You can grill under an awning if your awning structure meets specific requirements designed and put in place for safety precautions around barbecuing.
Grilling under an awning is not usually recommended and is not advised for anyone wanting to protect their property, family, and guests from possible and avoidable fire damage if the awning were to catch fire.
The materials that awnings are typically made from (cotton and polyester, among other fabrics) are highly flammable. If embers get too close to your awning, stopping the fire once it gets started isn’t an easy feat. We recommend avoiding this situation by not using your barbecue under an ill-advised awning that isn’t designed with grilling or barbecuing in mind.
Awnings are a great source of shade and protection from harsh weather. Still, when it comes to using a BBQ safely, you’re better off in open space, away from combustible and burnable materials, such as decking, furniture, and the flammable fabrics awnings are made from.
Here are a few reasons why it isn’t safe to grill under an awning that hasn’t been designed with a barbecue or grill in mind:
- The fabric in the awning can melt in extreme heat and is also highly flammable; if there isn’t enough space between the grill and the awning, it is a fire hazard.
- Awnings are usually attached to more solid structures, like houses, which are at risk of damage if the awning catches fire.
- Although airflow isn’t usually an issue under awnings, be wary of Carbon Monoxide.
- If your awning structure is made from aluminum, it is at risk of melting in high temperatures.
Awnings were designed to provide a solution for protecting people from the elements while still being able to spend time outdoors. Restaurants, for one example, provide awnings in their outdoor areas so they can still host guests in outdoor areas while it’s raining. Awnings weren’t initially designed for people to be able to barbecue or grill underneath them.
There are, however, some guidelines in place for those grill lovers who love to barbecue and don’t want any weather to hold them back from hosting the perfect party.
When You Can Barbecue Under an Awning
We understand that summertime is barbecue time for most people and that cooking in a shaded area is ideal. We also understand that many people love to cook on their barbecue no matter what the season and that having an overhead covering is also ideal to protect the chef, and the barbecue, from rain, snow, and whatever other weather the elements throw our way.
If you do want to have an awning installed, or already have an awning installed, and you meet the safety requirements, you can grill under your awning, and having a successful BBQ won’t be an issue if you keep all safety measures in mind while grilling.
Here is a list of what makes your awning acceptable for cooking under as encouraged by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Your grill must be 10 feet or more away from a house or building.
- Do not cook under a carport, in a garage, porch, or other burnable surfaces.
- Charcoal grills are for cooking in outdoor, open spaces only.
- Clean and maintain your barbecue. Always check your barbecue is in good condition before grilling. Old fats and oils are a fire hazard.
- A 9ft clearance of any overhanging cover is recommended if using a barbecue.
- Is your awning hanging over a deck? Decking is a highly flammable material, and grilling over a deck is not recommended without a grease mat and splatter board.
What is a Grill Canopy?
Grill canopies are designed explicitly with barbecuing in mind.
We want you to be able to host a great BBQ for all your friends, no matter the weather. Consider a grill canopy for a quick and easy solution to keep you and your barbecue dry or shaded while cooking outside.
A grill canopy is designed to prevent possible fires, unlike using every day covers like gazebos and awnings that are flammable and do not prevent fire damage.
They look much like miniature gazeboes but are made from sturdy materials like steel that are less prone to small fire damages. A grill canopy offers sufficient ventilation for outdoor undercover cooking as well as cover from the elements for the cook.
Grill canopies offer a cheap solution to being able to barbecue outside, rain or shine, but do not offer a solution for high winds and snow-like conditions in the colder winter months.
If your awning is installed at a height that offers correct airflow and ventilation, as well as protection from incurring heat and flame damage from excess fats, grease splatter, and uncovered flames, you can barbecue under an awning. Barbecuing under any type of cover is not recommended. Still, with correct safety precautions and fire safety appliances nearby, you can cheerfully host your outdoor barbecue knowing that you have kept yourself and your guest’s safety in mind for a great time of some delicious food.