Using A Pellet Grill In The Garage? (Read This First!)

Using A Pellet Grill In The Garage

Pellet grills are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to smoke meats. Simply toss your meat onto the pellet grill, check on it every few hours, and wait until the meat goes from bland to smoky deliciousness.

Using my pellet grills during the cold and rainy winter months in Portland made me wonder if we can use smokers and pellet grills in the garage.

So can pellet grills and smokers be used in the garage?

Pellet grills and smokers should not be used in enclosed spaces or areas with poor airflow such as a garage or shed. There needs to be sufficient airflow in order to safely use a pellet grill or smoker so the smoke and carbon monoxide can safely vent away.

However, pellet grills and smokers can be used on covered porches and decks as long as there is enough airflow to blow the smoke away.

Now let’s cover the main reasons why pellet grills should not be used in enclosed spaces such as garages and sheds.

Keep in mind that any grill that is rated for indoor use can be safely used in the garage. Some electric grills are rated for indoor use so these grills can be used in the garage or shed.

Reasons To Not Use A Pellet Grill In A Garage

Despite being a nice indoor space that keeps you and your stuff protected from the weather, garages are not a good location for grilling or smoking food.

Considering a garage is an enclosed space, all grills besides electric grills should not be used in an enclosed space.

Here are some of the main reasons why you never want to grill or smoke food in a garage:

1. Fire Concerns

Most, if not all, garages are made of wood and have a wooden roof.

The combination of grilling inside of an enclosed space that is made of wood is a major fire hazard.

If you grill in a garage, you might have to deal with flareups as well as embers which are well-known fire hazards.

The fire risk of grilling in a garage is too high given how flammable garages can be, not to mention garages are usually connected to your home so this fire would spread to your home!

2. Carbon Monoxide Danger

Another reason why you should not grill in a garage is the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Charcoal, gas, and pellet grills all produce carbon monoxide as well as smoke.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can have deadly effects in enclosed spaces when there is not enough airflow to allow the carbon monoxide to safely vent away.

So the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is another reason to not grill in a garage.

3. Toxic Fumes

The smoke given off by burning wood has a lot of toxic chemicals which are not good for anyone’s health, especially when you breathe in the fumes over a long period of time.

Even though you might not experience the side effects of breathing in these toxic fumes immediately, they can accumulate over time and cause some serious health problems.

Once again, grills need sufficient airflow to blow away the toxic fumes in order to be safely used.

4. Staining The Garage

If you’re grilling in a garage, there’s a good chance that you will end up staining it with grease, food particles, and other grill marks. Once these stains set in, they can be quite difficult to remove.

In addition, if your roof is not high enough, the heat from the grill might be so intense that it can create marks and discoloration.

Not to mention if your garage has any synthetic plastic such as the garage door, you can expect the heat to begin to warp or even melt the plastic.

So the heat and smoke from the grill can cause serious issues when used in a garage.

5. Smoke Damage

The smoke that comes off grilling will rest on different surfaces in the garage including the ceiling.

This can cause immediate or eventual damage to the materials in your garage. Even though the smoke will probably not kill you, it will leave your garage smelling like smoke for a long time.

Similar to how smoking indoors can leave a car or home smelling like smoke well after someone stops smoking a cigarette, grilling in an enclosed space can leave a smoky smell for well after the grill has been turned off.

6. Breaking Local Rules And Regulations

A majority of regions have rules and regulations that focus on barbecuing and grilling.

Grilling in enclosed spaces is often prohibited and for good reasons.

If you grill in your garage and happen to live in an area with strict regulations, you might be at risk of receiving a fine.

Better Alternatives To Grilling In A Garage

So what can you do if you want to grill but don’t want to risk damaging your garage?

1. Grill Outdoors

First and foremost, the safest place to use any grill including pellet grills is outdoors.

Generally, folks start thinking about using a pellet grill in a garage when the weather outside is raining or snowing so let’s cover other covered locations that might be better to use.

2. Grill Under A Covered Porch or Deck

Grilling under a covered porch or deck might be a better alternative than grilling inside a garage.

If the covered porch or deck has high enough ceilings and sufficient airflow then the grill can be safely used under this covered location.

Make sure to see this guide to ensure you have the proper clearances to safely use your pellet grill under a covered porch or deck.

3. Grill Under Canopies, Gazebos, or Other Covered Locations

Grilling under most covered locations that have enough vertical clearance and airflow to safely dissipate the heat and smoke can be used as a grilling location.

So canopies, gazebos, and other covered locations may be a better alternative than grilling in an enclosed space such as a garage or shed.

Make sure to take all the necessary safety precautions when grilling under or near objects since the fire risk is even greater.

4. Grill Right Outside The Garage

Another option is to simply place your pellet grill a few feet out of your garage and smoke your food there.

As long as there isn’t heavy rain or snow, the pellet grill will burn off any moisture that accumulates on the grill’s drum. Moreover, if the pellet grill has a smokestack and the grill’s drum is fully enclosed then the food will be perfectly insulated from the outside weather.

See this guide for some tips on using a pellet grill in the rain.

Final Thoughts

Pellet grills are great grilling and smoking machines that can transform a tough cut of meat into fall-of-the-bone goodness.

In fact, pellet grills can smoke a brisket, sear a steak, and even bake a pizza. So pellet grills are versatile cooking machines that can be used year-round to cook just about anything.

However, pellet grills do burn wood pellets in order to create both heat and smoke so there are some locations pellet grills should not be used.

Pellet grills and smokers should not be used in an enclosed space such as a garage or shed. Any grill that produces smoke should be placed outdoors or in a location with sufficient airflow to blow away the smoke.

Now place your pellet grill in a safe location and fire it up so you can get to grilling and smoking some food!

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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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