Can You Grill Under Gazebo?

Planning a barbecue in your backyard during the summer is a fantastic way to connect with your loved ones. Inviting family or friends over for a grill-out is not only fun, but it also creates lasting memories. Grilling in the open is generally safe, provided the grill is handled responsibly.

But what happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Rain can certainly put a damper on your barbecue plans. In such instances, you might find yourself seeking a sheltered place to continue your grilling endeavors.

A gazebo can offer the ideal cover, allowing you to work the grill even in less-than-perfect weather conditions. However, grilling under a gazebo isn’t without its safety concerns. Let’s delve deeper into these potential hazards to ensure your barbecue remains a safe and enjoyable event.

Can you grill under a gazebo?

Yes, it’s possible to grill under a gazebo, but it’s not generally recommended. If you decide to proceed, it’s crucial to exercise caution and adhere to certain safety measures.

While a gazebo may seem like an ideal place to set up a grill for outdoor cooking due to its spaciousness, grill manufacturers advise maintaining a significant distance between your grill and any nearby objects.

When grilling in a sheltered area or indoors, there should be at least five feet of clearance between your grill and any other object. This includes railings when grilling under a gazebo. Additionally, ensure there’s ample room to move around the grill safely.

Gas Grill

Gas grills might be a viable option when grilling under a gazebo. If a flame is burning beneath the gazebo, proper airflow is essential to allow the heat to dissipate.

A spacious gazebo is crucial when using a gas grill. Even in adverse weather, you can continue grilling if you have a gazebo in your backyard, provided you take the necessary precautions.

Electric Grill

Electric grills are generally the safest to use, regardless of location. An electric grill does not generate open flame, significantly reducing the risk of fire hazards.

However, this doesn’t mean you can grill under a gazebo carelessly just because you’re using an electric grill. Regardless of the type of grill you use, safety measures should always be followed.

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills pose the highest fire hazard risk. Therefore, using a charcoal grill under a gazebo is strongly discouraged. Charcoal grills produce a significant amount of smoke and the heat they generate can’t be adequately regulated. When using a charcoal grill, temperatures can reach up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is dangerous in a covered space.

Charcoal grills are best used in open areas where the smoke can dissipate quickly. Grilling under a gazebo with a charcoal grill can lead to a buildup of smoke, which can suffocate you and those around you. Additionally, the unregulated heat poses a significant threat. Always prioritize safety when deciding where to set up your grill.

What are the risks of grilling under a gazebo?

The main issues here are about airflow and temperature. When you’re grilling, you’re dealing with a lot of heat, and that hot air needs somewhere to go. If you’re under a gazebo, there’s a chance that the hot air might not have enough space to cool down before it hits the structure. This could potentially damage your gazebo, or worse, start a fire.

Another concern is the buildup of dangerous gases. Grilling produces smoke and other gases, and without proper grill ventilation, these can accumulate and create a hazardous environment. This is why some folks might say it’s okay to grill under certain types of patio covers, like pergolas, awnings, or roof extensions, as long as they have high ceilings (at least eight feet) and good ventilation. But even then, it’s a bit of a gamble.

In my experience, it’s always safer to grill in an open area, away from any structures. This includes gazebos. It might not be as convenient, especially if you’re trying to stay out of the sun or avoid a light rain, but trust me, the peace of mind knowing you’re grilling safely is worth it. So, next time you fire up the grill, remember to keep it clear of any structures. Your safety, and your gazebo’s, depends on proper grill placement.

How can you make grilling under a gazebo safer?

Grilling under the open sky is the ideal scenario, but when Mother Nature has other plans, like a sudden rain shower, you might find yourself needing to move under a gazebo.

Before you make that move, though, it’s important to consider the risks. For starters, the gazebo should have a ceiling that’s at least 10 feet high. This height allows the smoke from the grill to dissipate effectively, reducing the risk of smoke accumulation.

If your gazebo has a vent or is specifically designed for grilling (a grill gazebo), it’s safer to set up your grill there. The heat and smoke produced during grilling need ample space to ventilate without causing discomfort or posing a risk to anyone present.

However, if your gazebo isn’t spacious enough or doesn’t have proper ventilation, it might be best to postpone the grilling. As much as we all love a good barbecue, safety should always come first. In such cases, ordering some takeout might be the best option. Remember, there’s always another day for that perfect barbecue!


Grill gazebos are indeed a popular choice for outdoor grilling enthusiasts. However, the question of whether it’s safe to grill under a gazebo often arises. While it’s generally discouraged due to safety concerns, it can be done if you have sufficient space and exercise caution.

If you decide to grill under a gazebo, it’s crucial to adhere to all safety measures and choose the appropriate grill for the setting. An electric grill, for instance, might be a safer choice than a charcoal one. And remember, no matter where you’re grilling, never leave the grill unattended. It’s a simple rule, but it’s one that can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring a safe and enjoyable grilling experience. Happy grilling!

Related reading: How To Secure A Grill To Concrete?

Related reading: Can You Grill Under Canopy Tent?