If you’ve had big plans only to be ruined by a rainstorm, it’s understandable to consider if you can use your pellet smoker in your garage.
What you need to know is that there is always a risk of using a pellet smoker/pellet grill in an unventilated or enclosed space. So, if you are going to use your pellet smoker in the garage you will have to take the right safety precautions and ensure you’ve considered all the other safer options.
However, even if the conditions are perfect there is always a risk. That’s why we at GrillSimply would not recommend using a pellet smoker indoors.
If you are considering using a pellet grill in the garage, here are the risks, what you need to know, and what the safer options are.
Know The Risks
Whether it’s in the garage, under a covered pergola or in the shed, you need to know the risks when considering using a pellet smoker or pellet grill in enclosed or unventilated spaces. This way you can take every precaution necessary or consider safer options.
There are two major risks to be aware of. Firstly, It’s ESSENTIAL that you have good ventilation and air flow. If the area isn’t ventilated properly you are in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. As the fire burns it takes the limited oxygen in the enclosed space and turns it into smoke and carbon monoxide. If the area doesn’t have enough airflow the smoke and carbon monoxide will collect and not be replaced with more oxygen-rich air.
The second risk is that the heat from the pellet grill or pellet smoker will lead to a fire. If you’re like me then you may have some items in your garage like oils, fuels, other grills, tools etc. that are flammable. If your pellet grill is close enough, the heat may cause a fire, or cause damage to your belongings.
This is the leading reason why there are restrictions for use of pellet grills on apartment balconies too.
Can I Use My Pellet Smoker In The Garage?
You can use a pellet smoker in the garage, but it poses a huge, unnecessary risk. You need to take the necessary precautions and be certain that the conditions are safe. These are the essential requirements for safely using a pellet smoker/pellet grill:
- Ensure Sufficient Airflow. Even if you keep the garage door open it does not guarantee enough airflow. Always ensure you have all internal doors shut, all external doors and windows open, and the garage door wide open.
- Always Use A Carbon Monoxide Detector. Never use a pellet smoker under any kind of cover without a carbon monoxide detector. Even if you’ve left the windows and all the doors open and you can feel a draft, you can’t guarantee sufficient airflow. A carbon monoxide detector will be able to warn you well in advance of any dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
- Placement Of Your Smoker. Never place the smoker inside the garage. Always keep it just outside where the garage door opens, that way it’s actually outside your garage, and it’s partially sheltered by any overhanging of the roof.
- Keep Enough Space. Always ensure there is nothing within a 2m radius of your smoker.
Not every garage will be able to satisfy all the above conditions and in that instance, you must not try using your pellet smoker in the garage. Even if you have taken all the precautions it’s still always a risk. Use a pellet smoker in your garage only after you’ve taken all safety precautions, considered all other safer options, and at your own risk.
What The Safest Options Are
There are perfectly safe alternative options to using a pellet smoker in a garage or shed.
Firstly, you can actually smoke meat in the rain, cold, or wind. If it’s very light, on-and off rain, you can actually use your pellet smoker or pellet grill outside.
The best option would be to get yourself a barbecue grill canopy, a relatively inexpensive and easy to construct canopy that protects you and your grill from the annoyance of the weather.
But, if it’s only light rain then you can usually tuck your grill under any excess roof overhanging, or in a sheltered corner of your yard. You can use an outdoor extension cord for your pellet grill so you can move it anywhere in the yard to suit your needs. This will help in winter months too, avoiding low temperature issues with your pellet grill.
So long as you have good ventilation you can also look to use your pellet smoker in an open porch, verandah, or deck. But still make sure the pellet smoker isn’t close to anything flammable, has plenty of space, and adequate ventilation.
Lastly, if the conditions just aren’t right outside you can always look to use your oven or an indoor smoker instead of firing up your pellet grill. Worst comes to worse, you can always use your smoker another day. Heart-breaking I know, but safety always comes first.
Although it can be safe to use your pellet smoker in your garage with the door open, with perfect ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector, it still comes with a high risk. For this reason, I, and GrillSimply, wouldn’t recommend doing it.
Instead, grab an extension cord for your pellet grill and move it to a sheltered location in your yard. It’s important to note that your pellet grill should be able to withstand a bit of rain and wind, particularly if it’s a newer model of some of the top brands like Traeger, Pitboss, Z-Grills, etc.
If you do choose to use your pellet grill in your garage, do so with utmost caution. Be sure to take all the precautions possible, and do so at your own risk.