Is It Possible to Grill in the Garage?

by | Aug 29, 2023 | Grilling | 0 comments

Is It Possible to Grill in the Garage?

Don’t you just hate it when you have an elaborate plan to barbeque with your friends or family and it starts raining? In such situations, we’ve all wondered if it’s possible to just grill in the garage instead. 

However, here’s what you need to know. 

You shouldn’t ever grill in your garage, as garages lack a proper ventilation system. There are several risks associated with it such as house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. You can only use an electric grill which is considered safe to use indoors. 

If you want to know more about why it isn’t possible to grill in the garage, and what else you can do instead, read on!

Can You Grill in the Garage? 

You should always avoid grilling inside the garage. 

A garage doesn’t have enough ventilation or even space to keep up with the smoke when you’re grilling something. Now, even if you keep the garage door open, there are still several risks as I’ve discussed below. 

Risk #1: Fire!

Unless you want your home to burn like Rome, don’t grill in the garage. It may cause a fire. If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at some official statistics. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were over 10,000 fires due to grilling. Out of these, over 5000 of them caused severe house damage and also led to deaths.  

So, whenever you’re grilling, there’s always a big risk. It is better to not increase the risk by grilling in the garage. 

Also, you’ll find that it’s prohibited to grill indoors when you read the instruction manual for charcoal and gas grills as the materials used are highly flammable. 

Risk #2: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

One of the biggest risks of grilling in a congested area like the garage is carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas. Combustible carbon materials, like charcoal, produce carbon monoxide when you burn them.

When you inhale too much carbon monoxide coming out of the smoke while grilling, your body replaces the oxygen in the cells with carbon monoxide instead. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning leads to sudden fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, and even death in the worst cases. 

According to reports, there have been at least 59 deaths in the past due to carbon monoxide poisoning while using charcoal grills.

Risk #3: Excessive Mess

There are some people who mention that you can use your grill in a garage if you have got proper ventilation. Even if that decreases the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, you’re still going to make a huge mess. 

As much as I love grilling, the smoke, ashes, and all the prep stuff lead to a lot of cleaning. Since outdoor areas are spacious, the mess is reduced. 

On the contrary, garages have restricted areas for grilling. The smoke and grease can stick to the walls and flooring and increase your cleaning time. 

Don’t even get me started on the smell that gets into the walls and stays there for days!

Risk #4: Tripping or Falling 

Again, a garage is a restricted area. If you’ve kids, grilling inside a garage, even with the door open, is a huge problem. 

When you keep the grill and its related tools in the garage, any running kid can trip on it and injure themselves. 

Forget about children, an unattentive adult may also end up hurting themselves as the area is too small. 

Types of Grills and Their Safety

There are three main types of grills – charcoal grills, propane/gas grills, and electric grills. Let’s discuss how safe they are when you’re using them indoors (or in the garage).

1. Charcoal Grills 

Charcoal grills require coals to smoke the meat. As coals are carbon-based, charcoal grills are the worst and the most dangerous to use in the garage. 

Coals from charcoal grills are capable of causing carbon monoxide poisoning. They may also lead to house fires as they’re often used in high temperatures for smoking. 

Therefore, it’s best to use charcoal grills outdoors only. 

2. Propane or Gas Grills 

Gas or propane grills are equally dangerous when it comes to grilling in the garage. 

Even though these grills don’t contain charcoal, the propane from these grills can release carbon monoxide. Therefore, it may also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Another problem with propane and gas grills is that they’re more susceptible to causing fires. There is always a risk of propane leaks too from any damage to the fuel source.

So, even using propane tanks or gas grills in the garage or anywhere indoors is a risk you shouldn’t be taking!  

3. Electric Grills 

If there’s one grill that you can use indoors, it is an electric grill. 

Certain electric grills are suitable for use indoors. However, it’s still best to check for any labels suggesting “safe for indoor use” or “smokeless”.

The smokeless electric grills pose no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As there’s no smoke, there are also reduced chances of fire. 

Therefore, you can use electric grills in the garage as long as you’re following the basic safety precautions.

Alternate Options to Grilling When It’s Raining

We’ve established that it’s unsafe to grill in the garage. But, the question is – is there no way to grill food when it’s raining?

Well, there are a few alternatives. Some of them aren’t as good as actually grilling outdoors, but they still work!

  1. Go for a Grill Canopy

Grill Canopy or BBQ Gazebo offers you a covered area where you can place your grill outside. 

You don’t have to worry about the grill not working or the heat not being enough as rain won’t disturb the grill under a canopy. However, the winds may affect the heating process.

The best part is that BBQ canopies and gazebos are also pretty cheap. The ones listed on Amazon are between $40 to $50. It’s a one-time investment and can last for long! 

  1. Get a Patio Umbrella 

Apart from BBQ canopies, there’s also an option to use patio umbrellas for an outdoor grill. 

Just like BBQ canopies, patio umbrellas also help in covering the grill area. There’s only one limitation that I’ve noticed. 

Patio umbrellas tend to be smaller than BBQ canopies. Yet, the prices remain almost the same. However, patio umbrellas are a better option for those who have a compact area. 

  1. Fly Tent May Help 

If you’re looking for a slightly cheap option, you can go for a fly tent. It’s cheaper than BBQ canopies and patio umbrellas.

BBQ canopies and umbrellas are easy to use. With a fly tent, you’ll have to make a few adjustments here and there to make a proper cover. 

  1. Build a Covered Grilling Area 

Although expensive, I recommend this option for barbecue lovers who live in rainy regions (looking at you Seattle people!). 

You can build a covered grilling area outdoors. Also, consult a professional in this as they’ll consider the safety precautions and come up with a suitable design to minimize any risks. 

  1. Get a Retractable Awning 

You can consider adding a retractable awning to grill during rainy days too. 

Rectrable awnings provide a cover and protect the grill from the rain. Hence, you can grill in peace!

However, you need to make sure that the awning is kept at a proper height and won’t catch fire in an unfortunate situation. 

  1. Go for Indoor Grilling Options 

If you just don’t like grilling outdoors during rainy weather, you can consider indoor grilling options. 

For instance, you can go for grill pans, indoor smokers, cast iron skillets, or even a countertop grill. They won’t give you the BBQ feel but they’ll impart almost similar kind of grilling flavors to your meat. 

Final Thoughts

Grilling in the garage is not an option when it’s raining outside. It has several big risks which aren’t worth the experience. 

Instead, I suggest going for the alternatives that I’ve listed in the article. Trust me, they are safe and work nicely! 

Related Questions

Is it OK to grill on the porch?

It’s unsafe to grill on the porch. However, if there’s excessive ventilation and a proper distance between the flooring and the ceiling to minimize fire risk, you may go ahead with it. Always avoid using charcoal grills.

Is it safe to grill on a balcony?

Some of the grill fires have started on balconies. So, it’s not a good idea to grill there. If you live in an apartment, you should also consider the building laws. 




Colin has been grilling, smoking, and barbecuing in his yard for as long as he remembers.  His favorite dish is pork belly smoked on his favorite offset smoker. Read more about Colin here.


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