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Can You Use a Charcoal Grill on Grass? (Explained)

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Can you use a charcoal grill on the grass? No, you should not. There are a few reasons for that, which include catching fire, damaging property, etc.

Therefore, this article discusses these different reasons and provides alternatives for where you should set up your grill. Here’s what you should know.

Why You Should Not Use Your Charcoal Grill on the Grass

The correct location for grilling is crucial. It maintains cooking safety, reducing the risks of damage to property, and most importantly, it can make the grilling process fun.

So, here’s why you should never use a charcoal grill on grass. 

It Can Lead to a Fire

One of the most significant reasons is that your grass can easily catch fire.

If you don’t have an extinguisher nearby, the fire can spread and burn down your entire property.

This is especially dangerous with a charcoal grill because of two reasons.

The first is that small pieces of charcoal may fall from the grill and onto the grass.

Hot charcoal could burn the grass, leading to a fire.

The second reason is that you cannot instantly turn off the heat on a charcoal grill.

Charcoals take several hours to about 2 days to cool down fully after you close the grill’s lid and prevent any exposure to oxygen in the air.

Therefore, you won’t be able to monitor your grill at all times. Also, it will still be hot enough to burn grass when you initially shut the grill and start eating your food. 

It May Damage Your Grass

The excessive heat generated by your grill could damage the grass under it.

So, even if it may not lead to a fire, the grass may burn, ruining your lawn in the process.

This is also the case for grilling over synthetic grass. While most of them don’t burn, some may melt due to the excessive heat.

You can also check with your artificial grass manufacturer about what temperatures it can withstand if you have no other place to keep your grill. 

Grass Doesn’t Offer an Even, Sturdy Surface

There is undeniably a safety risk if you try grilling on a surface that’s not even or sturdy.

It is more likely for a grill to topple over on an uneven and soft surface than on a hard and even one.

In addition to creating a mess, that may also potentially lead to a fire and damage to property.

Therefore, you can save a lot of money and time by making sure that you take all of the necessary grilling precautions whenever you set out to cook outdoors.

Thus, the answer to the question, “Can you use a charcoal grill on grass?” is an emphatic no. 

Alternatives to Cooking On Top of Grass

The best way to use your charcoal grill in your backyard is to find a level, hard, and sturdy surface where you can cook.

Ideally, it should be at least 3 feet away from any walls in your backyard. This way, you can reduce the risk of damaging your walls.

You can also ensure the grill has adequate ventilation to reduce the risk of potentially causing a buildup of excessive heat in one area.

Confined spaces are especially dangerous for charcoal grills.

You should also make sure that there’s nothing within 10 feet of your grill that is highly flammable and can combust in the presence of a naked flame.

In addition to that, make sure to avoid a balcony or patio as the embers may burn the wood, which could damage it or result in a fire.

That said, it’s best to also read the location recommendations provided by your grill’s manufacturer. 

Of course, outdoor grilling is prevalent in most American households. So, you shouldn’t have to give up on that fun and social activity simply due to a lack of space.

Here are some options you can consider to be able to cook on a charcoal grill on a patch of grass. All of these items will go under your grill and over a patch of natural or artificial grass.

A Grill Mat

You can safely grill on grass if you have a large enough grill mat above the grass and below the grill.

These mats are made of fiberglass cloth that doesn’t stick (allowing you to use them on top of your grill as well).

These mats are treated in a heat-resistance substance known as polytetrafluoroethylene. Grill mats come in various sizes, allowing you to utilize them for different types of grills.

So before you buy one or more, measure the dimensions of your grill and the space you have available to buy a product that will work best.

Temporary Paver Stones

You can place temporary paver stones on your lawn for an even and sturdy surface to grill.

These pavers are durable and offer an excellent platform for cooking without needing to excavate any of the soil on your lawn.

As a result, you won’t damage your grass, but you can create cooking space where there otherwise may not be.

However, you will need to buy multiple paver stones to create enough space for your grill and yourself.

So, it can take a bit of time and effort to set this up because the stones are heavy.

Also, you will need to keep the pavers aside because leaving them on the grass for long can ruin your lawn. 

Interlocking Deck Tiles 

Interlocking deck tiles offer a quick, effective, and simple solution.

It takes only a few minutes to attach the tiles together, and you can start cooking over them without ruining your grass.

You also don’t need a professional to set it up for you. 

Last Few Words

If any of your friends or family ask you, “Can you use a charcoal grill on grass?” you must remember that it’s never a good idea to do so.

Use any sturdy surface like the options mentioned above instead. 


Lover of the outdoors and great food. If I'm not in my backyard cooking up a feast, I'm deep in the backcountry camping....and cooking up a feast! Follow along and let's create something great.