A charcoal grill on a wooden deck is completely safe, but you must be careful and place your grill at a distance from your home.
Is it Safe?
Charcoal grills undoubtedly add more flavor to your meals, but they can also become potential fire hazards and damage your deck. If it is this dangerous, can a charcoal grill on a wooden deck be safe to use? The precise answer is yes; it is safe. How? Here is a guide.
Can I use a charcoal grill on my wooden deck?
Safe hazards are not only a trait associated with charcoal grills; every type of grill, to some extent, is dangerous. If you are cooking on a gas grill, the risk will be minimal if you take the right precautions.
You can use a grill on a deck and patio, but remember that it can cause potential issues and challenges—you have to be vigilant while doing so.
But you do not have to worry if you are taking the right precautions such as putting fire extinguishers in your range. Some important precautions for a charcoal grill on deck are.
Safety measures for using charcoal grills on the wooden deck
Some important safety measure includes
1. Place it far away from your house
The most important thing for not only charcoal grills but for any grill, keep this in mind to always place your grill at a distance from your house, especially from the deck. A wood deck or any other combustible material is more likely to become a reason for any hazard.
However, that does not mean that you cannot place it on the wooden deck; you have to be vigilant and careful about it. Another thing, make sure that it is also away from any tree branches which can catch fire; else, the heated grill can also become cause severe damage.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recommended safe distance from home to the grill must be 2 to 4 feet minimum.
2. Never leave your grill unattended
Whether you are about to cook or done cooking, leaving your charcoal grill unattended is quite dangerous. Many potential possibilities are more likely to bump or knock over the grill.
3. Use fire-resistant grill mats on the floor
Placing the fire-resistant grill mat underneath your grill prevents the deck from hot charcoal embers and fire sparks that can damage or ruin your wood deck or become a reason for causing a fire. Not only this, but use a grill mat to prevent spills, spatters, a flammable grease fire, and sauce.
They are available in many shapes and sizes, covering almost any grill. Make sure the mat is heavy enough to not be blown away by the wind.
In addition, when you use a grill mat it will also protect your wood deck from grease stains.
4. Make sure you are cleaning it right
The National Fire Protection Association has stated that the majority of the time, the cause of the fire is that it is not cleaned properly.
A greasy grill is more at risk of catching fire or having a flare-up; try removing flammable grease buildup right after cooking when it cools down.
This will also prevent the smudging of grease, flare-ups, and potential grill fires. Clean your grill regularly
The best solution is to place a drip pan underneath the cooking area to catch the grease building without putting anything at risk. Just remember to clean the drip pan after using a charcoal grill along with regular cleaning.
5. Close every vent when done cooking on the grill
When you are finished grilling, put the lid down and close all the air vents. This way, the fire ignitor, oxygen, the ignitor of fire, will not enter the grill.
For a charcoal grill, leave charcoal for 12 hours or overnight before disposing of it to avoid flare-ups. Be sure there is no smoldering ash while putting it in the trash bag, as it will reignite the fire.
6. Keeping a fire extinguisher nearby for emergency
It is great that you are taking care of every single possibility which can trigger any hazard, but it is necessary to place a fully charged fire extinguisher handy. While getting one, the one you are using must be labeled as a grease fire—easily available. To smoother the grease fire, you can sprinkle baking soda or baking powder as per the requirements.
7. Keep updated with the weather conditions
This is something to consider first before putting the grill outside. Light snow or putting your grill out on a rainy day is quite common, but you never know when the weather conditions will change.
Avoid Grilling in heavy winds which can be problematic, especially while using a charcoal grill, as they are more likely to blow hot embers all around and can knock off your grill. The charcoal spill is a disaster if it consciously or unconsciously spills on the wood decks.
8. Have a hose handy for immediate action
Putting water on grease fires is never a great idea, as the water splash will splatter and spread the fire all around.
Here is a tip, whenever you are planning to place the lit charcoal grill on a wooden deck, lightly dampen the deck with a hose before you light the grill. If the wet wooden deck comes in contact with the embers or sparks, it would cause a flare-up and potential fire risk.
Following the above steps will help you to avoid grill-related injuries from a flare-up or even those pesky grease stains on clothing. As always use common sense when grilling on a wood deck.
A lot of options are available for charcoal grills for your wood deck that features different specifications, but which one to get is always a tough task. Thus, I have listed the top 5 best safe charcoal grills for your wood deck so that you can pick one according to your requirements.
My Recommendations for the Best Charcoal Grills that are Safe
1. Weber original kettle premium
· Dimensions: 22.5 x 22.5 27 inches
· Weight: 32.3 lbs.
· Material: Porcelain coated
Weber Original Kettle Premium is another good and classic option that you can have if you are looking for a charcoal grill.
The cooking surface of this grill is quite impressive, as it can hold around 13 burgers at a time. However designed, it still has modern features like a built-in lid thermometer that will keep you updated with the temperature.
It offers a one-touch cleaning system with a high-capacity ash catcher that makes the cleaning easy. The lid and bowl are coated with porcelain that keeps it away from rust and prevents peels.
Furthermore, this grill has a side hook to hang the lid instead of placing it away. The cooking grate is hinged, which quickly adds charcoal while grilling.
· This charcoal grill is lightweight
· The design is compact and classic
· Easy to clean with the ash catcher
· One-sided handle makes it difficult to lift
2. Gravity Series Masterbuilt 560
· Dimensions: 65.83 x 24.09 x 47.8 inches
· Weight: 228 lbs.
· Cooking area: 600 sq. ft.
· Material: cast iron
In a variety of electric and propane grill types, Masterbuilt smokers are well renowned. You can now smoke and grill in one unit thanks to the release of the Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker. While a blower moves hot air across the grill, feed charcoal into the hopper for a 12-hour cooking session. You may smoke with wood chips as well. A digital temperature display governs the grill's operation, keeping the temperature constant between 225°F for low-and-slow smoking to 700°F for searing.
The dual-sided cast iron grates on the grill may be used for smoking or grilling. There is a probe installed that keeps measuring the temperature, which is app-connected so you can monitor the temperature and adjust it when needed.
· It is versatile
· App-operated allows easy operation
· Monitors temperature and allows you to keep an eye on it
· Has large footprints
2. Oklahoma Joe’s Portable charcoal grill
· Dimensions: 19.5 x 26.8 x 21.8 inches
· Weight: 48.5 lbs.
· Material: cast iron and alloy steel
This grill is for you if you currently own a gas grill but occasionally want charcoal flavor. Additionally, it works well for confined places or the sporadic griller. Oklahoma Joe's Rambler has two substantial handles that make it simple to move around and a compact yet durable size. It comes with a tool that you can use to raise the hot grates while you're cooking, so you can add extra coal as necessary. Additionally, it includes a removable, adjustable charcoal tray. In our tests, this grill successfully seared chicken to a crisp and maintained a consistent temperature. After cooking, grill clean-up was similarly simple.
· Compact in size
· Build with solid cast iron
· Side handles for easy carrying
Difficult to carry when traveling due to its bulky build
3. Smoke hollow gas & charcoal combo grill & smoker 6500
· Dimensions: 76 x 24 x 46 inches
· Weight: 130 lbs.
· Material: Porcelain cast iron
Another grill that I have got for you is by Smoke Hollow 4 in 1. It is made with porcelain cast iron cooking grids and a warming rack. The design included three stainless steel burners that work independently. The side burner is 93000 BTU which makes your cooking experience more convenient.
This grill offers gas and charcoal fuel type that starts with electronic ignition. The side of this grill has a temperature gauge that maintains and keeps you updated with the temperature.
The charcoal pan with grate is adjustable so that you can rise or lower it as per the requirement. You can access the charcoal from the front, located at the side smoker firebox.
· Dual fuel type
· Electric ignitions
· Temperature gauge
· The smoker sometimes leaks in case of the grill is unattended
4. Keyyle Premium 22 inches charcoal grill
· Dimensions: 65.83 x 24.09 x 47.8 inches
· Weight: 32.3 lbs.
· Cooking area: 13 burgers at a time
· Material: Porcelain cast iron
For both gas grills and charcoal barbecues, Weber smokey joe is well-known. This version is a minor improvement over their Original Kettle, which we also suggest. The ash collector is where the biggest distinction exists: Unlike the standard version, which had an exposed plate, the premium version had a closed container.
It is available with a one-touch cleaning system feature that helps to remove the ash through the bottom of the kettle—ashes fall from a grate beneath which coals are perched.
The premium grill's cooking grate features two corners that can be raised to add extra coal without lifting the entire thing. Its side handles include tool storage, and its lid has additional heat protection beneath the grip. In addition to its original and premium lines, which are available in various sizes, Weber now sells cart-style charcoal grills with additional shelves, premium models with a propane ignition, and compact, portable charcoal barbecues.
· The ash container is closed, so there is no spill
· Allows to add more charcoal without removing the grate
· Allows single-touch cleaning system
· Storage shelf is small and placed at the bottom
5. PK Charcoal grill SCAX-X
· Dimensions: 16 x 35 x 35.5 inches
· Weight: 45 lbs.
· Material: Aluminum and stainless steel inner
This grill has a distinctive form and four-point venting system making it perfect for both grilling and smoking meals. It is made of cast aluminum for optimum heat conduction. It includes two work shelves where you may prepare meals and a cooking surface that is over 305 square inches—large enough to fit an entire turkey! Additionally, if you require a portable solution for outdoor gatherings or tailgating, it is lightweight and simple to put up.
When this grill was used for a few weeks, it seemed pretty great. The built-in vents were easy to adjust while cooking, and the coals rapidly heated up due to the tight fitting cover that kept the heat within. The grill's circular design makes it simple to prepare a variety of foods.
· It is easy to setup
· This grill has great heat retention and controlling
· The tailgate is portable
· It is designed with side tables
· Lacks a built-in thermometer
PK Grills PK300
· Dimensions: 16.21 x 42.75 x 37.35 inches
· Weight: 59.9 lbs.
· Cooking area: 300 sq. inches
· Material: Aluminum (outer)
Another portable option for the best charcoal grill is the PK grill which works as an allrounder due to its multifunctioning.
This portable grill combines a smoker with a dura-hinge design that offers more stability, ease, and optimal control. This grill has four vents for proper ventilation that provide complete control over heat. You can set the heat low and slow, hot or fast, whatever suits you.
The three-inches tall capsule design is perfect for two-zone cooking with a hinge cooking grid for simple and easy coal management. The cooking surface is wide that can easily accommodate meals for the tailgate.
Overall, this grill is perfect for adding flavor to your meal when propane gas fails; you can enjoy charred meat, burgers, brisket, ribs, and steaks on this grill smoker.
· Wide cooking surface
· Easy to setup
· Holds temperature steadily
· Can work as a smoker too
· This grill is not airtight as advertised
· The gap between the grill and the bottom shelf is huge
Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series
· Dimensions: 33.07 x 61.02 x 52.17 inches
· Weight: 203 lbs.
· Cooking surface:
· Material: stainless steel
This grill is a good option to add more flavor to your food as it maintains perfect temperature and reaches the required temperature quickly—225 degrees in 10 minutes and 700 degrees in a maximum of 15 minutes.
You can control the temperature and the cooking time with the digital control panel or through its smart device control via Bluetooth or WIFI.
It features digital fan that helps to maintain a precise temperature. The gravity hopper has the capacity to hold 10 lbs. to 16 lbs. charcoal lumps or briquettes that can be used for up to 8 hours. To prevent damage, this offers convenience for cord storage on the back shelf.
Furthermore, the folding stainless steel shelf and side shelf give you more space to hold your stuff.
· Made with high-quality stainless steel
· Quick temperature reach
· Impressive hopper size
· Takes a lot of time to assemble
· This grill is expensive
Conclusively, Can I use a charcoal grill on a wooden deck?
It is completely safe to use the charcoal grill on your wooden deck. If you are taking the proper precautions, then there is nothing you can worry about. However, do not forget to keep the necessary distance from your house. Along with that, do not forget to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
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