7 places you should never put a barbecue

From sheds to grass, here are seven spots you should avoid putting your barbecue

Places to never put your barbecue
(Image credit: Vincent Keiman / Unsplash)

With barbecue season upon us, it’s time to dust off your best barbecue and get grilling. But with safety in mind, it’s important that you’re setting up and using your barbecue in the right place, whether you’re in your garden, at the beach or on a camping trip.

To help you achieve a safe and tasty barbecue party, here are seven spots you should never put your barbecue. For more outdoor cooking advice, take a look at T3 Outdoor Living Month.

1. Unstable ground

Whether you’re using your grill on a patio, decking or pavement, it’s always important to set up your barbecue on stable ground. If you use your barbecue on an unstable or uneven surface, it’s more likely to tip over, scattering hot coals and food onto the floor, and potentially burning yourself in the process. Always ensure your barbecue is placed on a flat and stable surface away from anything flammable – more on this next.

2. Enclosed spaces, like a shed or garage

While us Brits have gotten used to braving the weather to fire up the barbecue (I’ve definitely stood underneath an umbrella while cooking a burger on my Weber Spirit Classic E-330 Gas Grill before), you might be tempted to shift your barbecue inside to avoid the rain. But never under any circumstances should you use a barbecue inside!

Using a barbecue in an enclosed space like a shed, garage or tent, or underneath a roof, gazebo or outdoor awning is a big no-no. All types of barbecue, including gas models and charcoal smokers, get extremely hot, and using it in an enclosed space increases the risk of sparks catching and setting fire. Not only that, but it increases the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re using a gas barbecue.

Places to never put your barbecue

(Image credit: Samuel Bryngelsson / Unsplash)

3. Grass

For many people, it’s fairly common to head to the park with a disposable or portable barbecue during the summer months. But if your barbecue sits low to the ground or doesn’t have a stand, you should never set it up or use it on grass. Grass can be extremely dry, so if a flame from your barbecue jumps onto the floor, it can easily catch fire and spread quickly. There’s a reason you see lots of ‘no barbecues’ signs plastered around your local park, after all!

4. Underneath overhanging trees

Similar to barbecuing under a roof, you should position your barbecue away from trees and branches. While you might think the tree that overhangs your garden is far enough away that you can put your barbecue underneath it, it’s best to keep them a safe distance apart to avoid any fires.

5. Decking – but it depends

While you can set up and use your barbecue on decking, you should take safety precautions first. If your barbecue sparks, this can land on your decking and leave scorch marks, so avoid this by laying down a grill mat underneath your barbecue. Not only does this prevent burns, but it can catch and collect ash, grease and debris while cooking.

6. On a balcony

As mentioned above, using a barbecue underneath awning isn’t recommended, and the same can be said when setting up your grill on a balcony. Flames and sparks can easily catch fire on a balcony and spread into your flat or other areas of your building. Having said that, some of the best electric barbecues don’t use flames, charcoal or gas to heat up, so these may be safe to use on your balcony, as long as it’s not too enclosed.

When to replace your BBQ

(Image credit: Pexels | Szelei Robert)

7. Too near doors and windows

This final one might sound strange, but you should try to avoid using your barbecue too near your doors and windows. The smoke from your barbecue can easily get inside your house, making it smell and triggering your fire alarm. Avoid this by keeping your barbecue well away from your house, at least 10 metres, to prevent any damages and excess smoke.

TIP: Stick to the sides of your garden 

Since I’ve spoken at length about where NOT to put your barbecue, here’s a quick tip for where you can put your barbecue. Position it on a stable surface away from your house and overhanging structures and ideally on the side of your garden. Putting your barbecue in the centre of your garden increases the chances of it getting knocked over, especially if you’re having a party or children are running around.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!