I live in Michigan and winter is right around the corner. Not only is winter right around the corner but you can never count on the forecast here. It will be calling for a sunny week and it will still rain all week.
This makes planning for a cook out more challenging which is why many are curious if you can grill in the garage.
If you are like me, the cold or rain isn’t going to stop me from firing up my grill (especially my Big Green Egg). In fact, as I’m writing this it is actually down pouring outside which also brings up the question that many have, is grilling in the garage safe?
Who wants to grill outside in the rain or in a blizzard? What other options are there to stay dry while grilling if I can’t grill in the garage?
Risks of Grilling in the Garage
Grilling in the Garage will create Carbon monoxide
As with any fire, the flame is creating carbon monoxide. Whether it is propane, charcoal or lump coal your grill is creating this carbon monoxide when it is running.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can actually kill you or even a pet if you are not careful. This is the same reason you don’t leave a car running in the garage with all the doors closed, it can be deadly.
Just opening your service door or garage door may not be enough ventilation to keep high levels of carbon monoxide out of the garage. This is a great reason to not start grilling in the garage.
If you have an attached garage it can be even more dangerous. Due to local construction codes, your garage should have a fire / smoke rated wall between the garage and house itself. This should assist with preventing carbon monoxide from entering the house, but it is still possible.
This is especially true if you live in an older house that may have a garage that was built prior to the construction code even being in place.
Grilling in the Garage Will Create a Bigger Risk of Fire
Whether you enjoy smoking and grilling on a Big Green Egg like me or have a gas or charcoal grill you are still dealing with fire. While outside of the obvious combustible materials like the garage itself there are usually many other items in the garage that are flammable, like oil or a gas can for your lawn mower or snow blower.
All it takes is one spark or flare up and you could find yourself with a major problem. Grilling in the garage is definitely not recommended.
If you decide to proceed with grilling in the garage make sure you are far away from any of these combustible chemicals or items. Also make sure the garage door is fully open along with any service door you may have in your garage to allow all the ventilation you can. I would also keep a fire extinguisher close by just in case an issue arises.
Just make sure you remember the acronym “PASS”
- P-ull, Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher
- A-im, Aim at the base of the fire
- S-queeze, squeeze the handle
- S-weep, sweep the base of the fire to extinguish
Along with a fire extinguisher, I would also recommend putting a carbon monoxide sensor in the garage just to ensure you are safer as it is odorless. Either way, it is not recommended to grill in the garage.
If you do proceed with grilling in the garage you should at least make sure all flames are out and all coals are cool prior to closing the garage up to eliminate any carbon monoxide from collecting in the garage.
At the end of the day, it is just best to NOT grill in the garage.
How to Stay Dry While Grilling & Can You Grill in the Rain? (4 Ways)
One of the less expensive ways to stay dry while grilling is obviously a golf umbrella, but who wants to hold and umbrella while grilling? Check out these alternatives to grilling in the garage all while keeping dry.
- 1 – Grill Canopy, this is a fairly inexpensive way to keep dry while grilling.
- 2 – Patio Umbrella, this is probably the least expensive way to keep dry while grilling. It also allows you to position it differently for shade if it is a hot summer day.
- 3 – Lean to or outdoor kitchen, this option is by far the most expensive but the nicest option if you are an avid grilling person. You can simply add a roof over your deck for great coverage. Unlike a garage, you also have plenty of ventilation with at least 3 side wide open for superior ventilation. You can get really carried away with this option and add power for a ceiling fan, TV for the big game or even a fridge.
- 4 – Retractable Awning, you can bet these with the capability of operating them either manually or electric in which you can open and close them with the push of a button. Not only are they good covers for grilling but they can provide great shade on a hot sunny day or keep you dry while grilling.
Alternate Grill That Is Safe to Use in the Garage
If you aren’t up for any of these alternatives and are still looking to grill in the garage there is one other option that is more safe then a typical propane, charcoal and lump coal fuel source. This option would be an electric grill.
There are actually quite a few positives when it comes to an electric grill as well. They are usually more light weight which is great for transporting them. They are very convenient at events like tailgating or even camping (especially if you don’t have a big rig and just camp the rustic way, with a tent).
They are also usually nonstick which makes it easy for clean up. They are also great for apartments as they do not emit carbon monoxide and they will not have flare ups like a regular grill.
In my opinion, they don’t quite deliver the same quality of flavor but they are an excellent option to consider if you are looking to grill in the garage.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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