A propane grill is a great way to cook outside, but finding the perfect spot for your grill can be difficult. A lot of people put their grills on the wooden deck; however, it has its pros and cons.
Propane is a flammable gas. So caution must be taken when grilling on a wooden surface with a propane grill because there is a high risk of the fire spreading to the wooden deck.
This brings up the question, can you put a propane grill on a wood deck?
Propane grills can be used on wooden decks, but safety precautions must be considered. Note that concrete surfaces are far safer and durable.
Before you move your propane grill onto the wooden deck, read all the precautionary measures you should take to keep you, your house, and your family safe.
How To Use A Propane Grill Safely On A Wooden Deck
Safety is the top priority while using a propane grill on a wooden deck.
Although propane-fueled grills are considered a reliable and safe way to cook on your deck, there are still some things to keep in mind when firing up the propane grill.
So take all the preventative measures to protect the deck from any potential fire outbreaks.
1. Place Grill Away From The Home
Generally, any grill should be placed as far away from the home as possible.
In fact, there is a 10-foot recommendation to keep the grill at least 10 feet away from the home. So stay clear of any branches that may be overhead and keep your grill at least 10 feet away from the house.
The goal is to keep the grill’s heat and smoke as far away from the home as possible.
Smoke can stain and damage the interior of the home if there are any cracks in the walls or windows.
Whereas, the heat can damage the home or even start a fire if placed too close to the home.
So always make sure that there is enough distance between the grill and the home so that the heat and smoke can safely blow away.
2. Avoid Flare-ups
When cooking on a gas grill, it’s important to use some techniques to prevent flare-ups.
First, turn off the middle burner of the grill and place the meat in the middle of the grill where there is no flame directly underneath the meat.
The heat from the side burners will create enough heat to cook the meat and will ensure that the food cooks evenly.
The benefit of cooking with indirect heat is that the grease and fat from the meat will not cause flare-ups since there is no fire beneath the meat.
Once the meat has almost been cooked to completion, place the meat over the flame so you can create the grill marks before taking the meat off the grill.
Note: Never use lighter fluid on any ignited fires and on propane grills.
3. Use A Grill Mat
A grill mat is a must-have for any outdoor cooking enthusiast. It’s made out of durable material that can withstand accidental sparks, spills, and grease.
Not only does it protect your deck or patio from getting stained with food juices, but it also prevents the chance of sparks coming into contact with wood and causing an unpleasant fire situation on their own accord.
Additionally, finding a mat that keeps your grill in one place and stays put against the wind is another benefit of grill mats. You may also consider getting something fire-resistant for safety’s sake, just like how you would prevent any potential fires from spreading on top of or around it.
Grill mats can be purchased from any department store or on Amazon and simply get placed underneath the grill.
As seen in the image above, the grill will now be insulated away from the wooden deck so that the heat from the grill does not damage the floor.
I highly recommend getting a grill mat if you plan on grilling on top of an area that you do not want to get stained from grease or damaged from embers.
4. Keep A Fire Extinguisher Handy
Grease fires can be explosive and dangerous, even for experienced grillers.
So always have a fully charged fire extinguisher nearby or baking powder in order to put out the fire before the flames spread.
Make sure that you do not need to scramble in order to find the fire extinguisher if hot embers or flames start spreading to the deck. The extinguisher should be in arms reach to quickly put out any stray flames.
5. Keep Away From Flammable Objects
Before lighting up the grill, look around to ensure there are no plants or other flammable objects within three feet of the grill.
Ideally, move flammable objects as far away from the grill as possible so stray embers do not ignite the object.
Make sure to also move the propane tank away from the walls or any other flammable objects when not in use.
6. Protect Wood Railings
It is important to keep any nearby wood deck railing protected when operating a gas grill.
If the grill is placed within 3 feet of the deck’s railing, then place a welding blanket or some other form of insulation from the flames.
If the railing or nearby plants are exposed to heat for a long period of time, the wood can dry out and eventually ignite.
7. Maintain Cleanliness
When you use your grill, make sure to clean up any large messes such as grease buildup or spills. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria and keep the fire from flaring up and prevent a hazardous situation.
Not to mention, the grill will perform better and last longer if properly maintained.
Cleaning A Propane Grill
Three components of a propane grill must be cleaned regularly for maximum efficiency, including valves, grill grates, and venturi tubes.
While cleaning, you will require a few tools, specifically:
Now follow these steps for cleaning a propane grill:
- Turn off both valves near the appliance for safety. Disconnect the propane tank.
- The metal plates that sit below the grates can get dirty, so give them a good scrubbing with soap after soaking for some time. Make sure you to wear gloves when removing the grill grates.
- Place a big piece of aluminum foil at the bottom of the metal plates to catch any drippings.
- After you’ve removed all of the grill’s grate and metal pieces, scrub them down with a brush.
- Carefully remove the foil from around your grill. Gently brush off any remaining tar and debris with a grill brush before wiping it clean for next time.
- Cleaning the venturi tube of your propane grill is important to have a clean burn. If it’s clogged or has any holes, use paper clips and small wire brushes. Start by hosing down the venturi tube with a garden hose. Make sure to leave it outside to dry any dirt or residue.
- Place the metal plates, drip pan, grill grates, and venturi tubes back in place
- Connect the propane tank back.
Finally, don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of the propane grill.
Propane grills are a great way to enjoy outdoor cooking. They require a flat surface and should be placed in an area that is clear from flammable materials.
If you have a wood deck, you should not put your propane grill on any of the boards directly, as this could cause them to warp or catch fire due to an accumulation.
Instead, place a fireproof mat underneath to prevent damage to your decking material. For safety, keep children and pets away from the cooking area while grilling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are grill mats useful?
A: Yes, grill mats are an invaluable tool not just for cooking, but also when it comes time to clean up. Grill mats can be kept on any surface and will leave your grill looking new and help avoid any fire hazards.
Can I leave my propane grill on an uncovered wood deck in winter?
A: You can leave a propane grill outside. However, in order to ensure that your gas grill is able to operate at its optimal level, you should always make sure it’s not colder than -44°F. Anything lower and the propane will not have enough vapor for proper operation.
Apart from maintaining distance, is there another way to protect your vinyl siding construction from melting?
A: One way to protect your vinyl siding from fire damage is with a special 4/8 drywall panel. Just lean it against the side of any exterior building and leave at least two feet away from anything else for stability, then watch out if there’s wind because these things can fall over easily.