Grilling during bad weather or off-season is possible with the right equipment. If you haven’t covered your porch or balcony, high chances are that you’ll need to cover yourself when grilling during rain or snow.
Most people quickly reach out to a canopy to provide this protection when having a picnic in the park or grilling in their garden, but is it safe?
It’s possible to grill under a canopy, however it’s not advisable and I highly discourage operating any flame under a canopy tent. Ensure that you follow all the safety precautions including putting the canopy very high so it won’t be easily damaged by the heat and smoke and by using the right type of grill like a smoker, propane or electric grill.
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Can You Grill Under A Canopy Tent
Canopy tents these days meet the CPAI-84 testing safety method. This testing checks whether the fabric used for making a tent is resistant to flame.
For this reason, many of us think grilling under a canopy tent is safe. But, while you can take several safety precautions, we strongly discourage grilling under a canopy tent.
Although most tents have passed the flammability test, keeping them near flames is not advisable.
Bear in mind that they may catch fire when left close to a continuous flame source for a long time. Most canopy tents use vinyl, polyester or polyene.
Unfortunately, these materials can quickly catch fire. Plus, the excess heat from grilling under a canopy tent can melt these materials.
Most manufacturers issue a disclaimer message discouraging canopy tent users from exposing them continuously to flames.
Not only can flames damage the tent, but they can also cause severe burns and injuries. For this reason, grilling under a canopy tent is highly discouraged.
However, if you have no choice but to cook under a canopy tent, you can do so with extreme care.
Can You Use A Gas Grill Under A Canopy
Yes. You can use a gas grill under a canopy. However, we highly discourage operating any flame under your tent.
Apart from damaging yourself, you can also damage your equipment. But, if you decide to grill under a canopy, do so in an area far away from any surroundings.
This way, should the tent cause fire, it won’t spread quickly to other things.
Additionally, when using a gas grill, please remember to keep it at least 10 feet away from vinyl siding that can melt and damage your house.
Remember that if the grill is too close to the wood, it can catch fire and burn.
Can You Use A Charcoal Grill Under A Canopy
If you are going to grill under a canopy, please do not use a charcoal grill. Gas or propane grills are fine, but charcoal ones are highly discouraged.
Remember that heat is not regulated with charcoal grills, which can be dangerous when it reaches a temperature of 700 degrees Celsius and above.
You may also want to avoid using propane grills in an enclosed canopy. Since propane tanks are flammable, they should never be used indoors in enclosed places.
If you don’t have a gas grill, you can use an electric one under a canopy. But, even with these models, you need to keep them far from wooden structures and combustibles.
Can You Grill Under A Pop-Up Canopy
You can grill under a pop-up canopy. But, under no circumstance will we ever encourage grilling in a canopy tent.
Fire is dangerous, and people need to be cautious when operating it. If you decide to cook in an open place under a synthetic material, no matter the type, you are putting yourself and your equipment at risk.
However, if you decide to cook under a canopy tent, ensure that you do that in a place far from any surroundings.
Also, have a fire extinguisher on standby just in case. If you notice your canopy tent is burning or melting, please get out of it immediately.
Don’t feel bad about losing your canopy tent as your life is more important.
What Are The Risks Of Grilling Under A Canopy
If you choose to grill under a canopy tent, knowing the risks is wise to help you be on the lookout.
Some of the dangers associated with grilling under a canopy include:
1 – The Tent Can Get Too Hot
One risk associated with grilling under a canopy is that it might get too hot. Some materials might even start melting and catch fire.
Therefore, you should know the risk of having hot air coming from your grill under a canopy tent.
Since the grill produces smoke, you should also note that it can discolor your canopy, leaving soot.
2 – Canopies Are Flammable
Most manufacturers discourage grilling under a canopy. That’s because their materials are mostly vinyl, polyester or polyethene, which can easily catch flames.
When this happens, the material will melt and create harmful smoke. So, it’s advisable to try to keep your canopy as cool as possible by putting it in the tallest setting.
3 – It Leaves Smoke Smell And Residue
Grills produce a smoke smell and leave behind residue. Therefore, even if you grill safely and successfully under a canopy, you will still have these problems.
They can be an issue if you usually use your canopy for other events. Remember that the smell and residue can still linger around even when you don’t use your canopy for grilling.
4 – It Can Injure A Person
If the tent melts, it can land on a person and cause severe injuries and skin burns. We should also mention that as the fabric melts, it changes the canopy’s structure.
This is a serious problem since it could ignite a fire that may land on your cooking equipment and potentially injure people under the tent.
Lastly, oil can spill on the canopy tent and most times can’t be cleaned with soap. These stains are hard to remove and make the canopy look ugly.
Plus, it has an odor which may attract bugs to your canopy, creating another issue you have to deal with.
Helpful Tips To Know About Grilling Under A Canopy
If you decide to grill under a canopy, the first thing to do is check the fire safety manual from the manufacturer. Please ensure to follow all the instructions given to the latter.
Here are some tips to help you grill safely under a canopy:
- Understand that fire isn’t the only risk you face when grilling under a canopy. The main problem is the smoke that comes from grilling. Grilling in a restricted space with little or no ventilation is never advisable. Doing that could call carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide accumulation. Sadly, inhaling these gasses, especially during a fire, is dangerous. That’s why charcoal grills are highly discouraged in a canopy tent. It’s also wise to have a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you when the levels are getting high. In addition, ensure that you are grilling under a well-ventilated canopy tent. Please allow enough airflow to control smoke and humidity.
- Don’t grill under a canopy tent during heavy rains. Remember that most canopies are not that sturdy to withstand this weather. Rainwater can accumulate on top of your canopy and seep in, ending up in your grill. Even if the rain isn’t that heavy, frequently check whether water has accumulated on top of the water storage. If there’s water buildup, create a passage to allow the water to flow from the top.
- Check to ensure that your tent is well anchored and firmly secured. The last thing you want is the wind to blow and knock your canopy tent over. When this happens, it can accidentally knock the grill and cause injuries to those nearby. Think of using sturdy objects like a car, pole, or trailer to tie the canopy tent to. Also, buy proper straps for tying and avoid using flimsy ropes. Additionally, remember to cover up oil spilling. Most manufacturers will not grant a warranty when the canopy fabric is damaged.
As we’ve seen, you can grill under a canopy tent. But doing that isn’t usually recommended.
If you choose to grill under a canopy, make sure you take all the safety precautions.