After purchasing a grill or smoker, you’ll need to choose an appropriate area on your patio to place it. You shouldn’t place your cooking device just anywhere on your patio. To create a safe and enjoyable cooking experience, you must selectively choose the right location for your grill or smoker. By following a few tips, however, you can find the perfect home for your grill or smoker.

Keep It At Least 10 Feet Away From Your Home’s Exterior

A good rule of thumb is to place your grill or smoker at least 10 feet away from your home’s exterior. If your grill or smoker is any closer, it could damage your home’s siding. Assuming your home has vinyl siding, for example, the heat from a charcoal- or wood-burning grill could melt the siding. Your home’s siding may not catch fire, but it will sustain permanent and unsightly damage as it melts.

To protect your home’s siding from damage, place your grill or smoker at least 10 feet away from the exterior. If your patio doesn’t extend past 10 feet, you may want to place it on elsewhere, such as on your lawn. By keeping your grill or smoker away from your home’s exterior, you’ll protect the siding from heat-related damage.

Make Sure It’s Placed on a Flat, Even Surface

In addition to creating a minimum of 10 feet of clearance between your grill or smoker and your home’s exterior, you should place your cooking device on a flat and even surface. When placed a sloped surface, a grill or smoker could topple over, spilling its fiery hot charcoal or wood and, therefore, creating a fire hazard.

Inspect your patio to ensure it’s flat and even. If there are any “humps,” avoid placing your grill or smoker in that area. Instead, find an area of your patio that’s completely level to reduce the risk of your grill or smoker toppling over. Never use a grill or smoker on an uneven surface.

Use a Protective Grill Mat

While not an essential accessory, using a protective grill mat can further protect your patio from heat-related damage. Not to be confused with cooking grill mats, protective grill mats are used to protect patios, decks and other man-made surfaces from damage caused by a grill or smoker. Because heat naturally travels up, your patio shouldn’t sustain damage from a grill or smoker — even if you don’t use a protective grill mat. With that said, stray embers from charcoal or cooking wood could escape your grill or smoker, falling to the patio where they scorch the wood planks.

A protective grill mat will protect your patio from stray embers. Featuring a heat-resistant construction, it creates a barrier between your patio and your grill or smoker. If any embers escape your grill or smoker, they’ll land on the protective mat rather than your patio’s wood planks. You can purchase protective grill mats for as little as $20 to $30, making it a smart investment if you regularly grill or smoke foods. Just place the protective mat underneath your grill or smoker, at which point your patio will remain protected from stray embers.

Choose an Easy Accessible Area

Of course, you should choose an easily accessible area of your patio to place your grill or smoker. If you’re forced to walk zig-zag around obstacles to reach your grill or smoker, you probably won’t use it very often. Therefore, you should place your grill or smoker in an area where you can easily access and use it. Just remember to maintain at least 10 feet of space between your cooking device and your home’s exterior.

Check for Windbreaks and Coverage

Don’t forget to check for windbreaks and coverage when choosing an area to place your grill or smoker. Whether it’s natural or man-made, windbreaks can make it easier to light your grill or smoker by blocking the wind. Without a windbreak, wind will blow across your grill or smoker, which could make it difficult to light the charcoal or wood.

Along with windbreaks, coverage can also create an easier and more enjoyable cooking experience. Placing your grill or smoker underneath some type of coverage, such as a roof or awning, will protect it from rain. As a side benefit, you can also use your grill or smoker during rainy weather without getting drenched. Regardless of the local weather, you can use your grill or smoker while staying comfortably dry in the process.

These are just a few tips on how to choose the right space for your grill or smoker. Of course, you can experiment with different placements, but following these tips will help you choose the perfect home for your grill or smoker.

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