Grilling Under A Pergola? (Read This First!)

Grilling Under A Pergola

Grilling outside is a great way to get out of the kitchen and enjoy some fresh air.

Depending on your background, you might have the perfect grilling spot underneath a pergola.

Knowing what hot air rises and that BBQ smoke can lead to damage over time, can you grill under a pergola?

A grill can be placed under a pergola as long as there is adequate airflow and the hot air has enough space to cool before hitting the pergola. Generally, grill manufacturers recommend 3 feet of space from the grill to an object.

Keep in mind that different grill manufacturers may recommend different clearance distances.

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In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commissions (CPSC) recommends having a distance of 10 feet from the grill to the closest object. So make sure to give the grill as much clearance as possible when setting it up.

Now let’s cover some factors to keep in mind when placing a grill under a pergola.

What Is A Pergola?

Pergolas are outdoor structures with sturdy columns on the corners that support the beams and rafters on the roof.

Typically, the grid is left open, although some pergolas can have a retractable fabric roof cover.

Pergolas may also have adjustable louvers which can open or close the roof area similar to how window blinds work.

A pergola can also stand on its own or be attached to a building or your house.

If you do decide to grill under a pergola, make sure to follow all the safety precautions when grilling especially underneath a pergola.

Some important safety precautions to keep in mind when grilling under a pergola are:

Adequate Clearance

One of the most important safety factors when grilling under a pergola is the distance between the grill and any combustible objects.

Generally, grill manufacturers recommend a clearance of 3 feet or more from the grill to the closest object.

Not providing enough distance between the grill and any combustible object can lead to damage or even a fire. Even with enough clearance, a smoky fire can cause discoloration to the pergola.

So make sure to provide as much distance between the grill and any object as possible.

Moreover, make sure there is enough airflow so that the smoke from the grill can safely exit the pergola, which brings us to our next point – improve circulation.

Improve Circulation

If your pergola has adjustable louvers or a retractable curtain, you can close the pergola to protect yourself from rain and bright sunshine.

However, when grilling under a pergola, make sure to open the louvers or open the retractable curtain so that there is more airflow for the grill.

Having the louvers or retractable curtain closed can lead to unpleasant smoky conditions not to mention the ceiling can get damaged from all the enclosed heat.

Even if the pergola’s ceiling is a safe distance away from the grill, the smoke from the grill can carry grease and other contaminants that can discolor and damage the pergola. Ultimately, you want the smoke from the grill to leave as quickly and as safely as possible.

Open The Curtains And Screens

Motorized curtains and screens on a custom pergola are vital in improving privacy, adding shade, and keeping away pests.

However, when grilling under a pergola, sliding the motorized curtains and screens away is highly recommended. Having the curtains and screens open will prevent the pergola from smelling and allow the smoke to clear.

Opening the curtains and screens also protects them from grease fires, flame ups, and sparks. Improving ventilation in the pergola can improve safety and make your grilling experience better.

Grill Safety

Grilling under a pergola is fun when done right. However, following grilling safety tips is crucial.

Some of the safety tips you should follow include:

  • Never leave the grill unattended
  • Place the grill a flat surface
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Do not place the grill next to any of the pergola beams
  • Keep the grill at least 3 feet away from any combustible objects including plants

Benefits Of A Pergola

Typically, most people use their open patio for cooking and eating which is great when the weather cooperates.

However, having a pergola provides a few great benefits over an open patio. Here are some of the benefits of building a pergola:

i. Defining Spaces

Since the yard and your garden are additional spaces in your home, it is essential to differentiate the two.

If you build a pergola in your backyard, you will define the outdoor kitchen from other areas.

Having that separation from the outdoor kitchen and eating area will help keep outdoor games away from the pergola.

If you have children, they will understand that the pergola is an outdoor kitchen, not a playground

ii. Weather Protection

Although a pergola does not have solid walls and a roof, it can protect you, your family, and your friends from unpleasant weather.

Grilling on a sunny day can be uncomfortable when the sun is too bright. Not to mention grilling on a rainy day can be stressful or even impossible depending on how hard the rain is falling.

Therefore, a pergola can be a great investment in order to enjoy grilling outside with family and friends all year round.

iii. Equipment Protection

Even though most grills are weather-resistant, the grill’s lifespan will be extended if the grill is protected from harsh elements.

Pergolas offer protection for both the grill and other outdoor furniture. That way you do not need to bring in your grill or outdoor furniture in rainy or snowy weather.

Even pergolas that do not have adjustable louvers or a retractable curtain can still offer a bit of protection against the weather which will help prolong the lifespan of the grill and outdoor furniture.

iv. Boost Grilling Interest

Building a pergola over your grilling patio can spark grilling interest from your friends and family.

It will become easier and more fun to grill under a pergola since you do not need to worry about the weather as much.

Not to mention pergolas can be decorated with plants and other outdoor decorations that make the grilling experience more pleasant.

v. Increase The Home Value

Generally, prospective home buyers prefer homes with outdoor kitchens. So building a pergola can improve your home value.

Even if you are not planning to sell your home soon, building a pergola can increase the value of your home.

If you prefer spending time with your friends and family cooking and eating outdoors, cooking under a pergola is a great idea. If you do not have one, you can build one under your grilling patio, and you will enjoy numerous benefits.

Besides improving your home value, you will enjoy grilling outside regardless of the weather elements and protect your equipment.

Final Thoughts

Cooking food outside on the grill can bring up good memories with family and friends and great weather.

Even during the off-season, grilling can still be a great option to keep the summer flavor going well into the cold winter months.

So grilling under a pergola seems like a great option if you have one. However, there are some things to keep in mind before placing a grill under a pergola.

A grill can be placed under a pergola as long as there is adequate airflow and the hot air has enough space to cool before hitting the pergola. Generally, grill manufacturers recommend 3 feet of space from the grill to an object.

So just make sure to have enough airflow and clearance between the grill and any combustible objects before firing up the grill under the pergola.

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Steven

I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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