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Can You Use a Smoker on a Screened-In Porch?

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If you love spending time outdoors, then the arrival of springtime might also mean spending more time cooking in the backyard.

Most people like to take their grill or smoker to a park or just spend the day outside in the sun.

But what if you want to try your hand at smoking meats from inside your screened-in porch? Can you do it?

Is it safe? Let’s take a look at some things to consider before firing up that smoker on your screened-in porch.

Can You Use a Smoker on a Screened-In Porch?

Summertime is grilling time, and there’s nothing better than the smell of charcoal and meat wafting through the air.

But if you live in an apartment or condo, you may not have much outdoor space to work with. 

Fortunately, it’s possible to use a barbecue smoker on a screened-in porch. Just be sure to open up all the windows and doors to ensure adequate ventilation.

You’ll soon discover that ventilation and roof clearance are important things to consider before firing up your smoker on your screened-in porch. 

If you’re using a gas grill, it’s even more important. Make sure the area is well ventilated to avoid carbon dioxide buildup.

With a little creativity, you can enjoy all the benefits of outdoor grilling without leaving the comfort of your home.

Things to Consider Before Firing Up Your Smoker

If you’re excited about smoking on your screened porch, there are a few things you need to consider beforehand.

The type of flooring your smoker will be sitting on is important, as is the amount of ventilation, and the height clearance above the smoker. 

All of these factors play a role in the safety and effectiveness of your smoking process.

For example, if you have a wooden deck, you’ll want to make sure the smoker is sitting on something heat-resistant to avoid any damage. 

You’ll also want to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation to keep the smoke from becoming too thick and prevent you from enjoying your time outside, or setting off any smoke alarms. 

And finally, make sure there’s enough height clearance so that the smoke doesn’t get trapped against the ceiling and cause any damage or leakage into your above neighbor’s porch (if you live in an apartment).

Consider the Flooring

Many people enjoy barbecuing on their porch, but it’s important to consider the flooring material before you start smoking.

Some materials, like concrete and hard tile, are perfectly safe, but others, like wood, can be extremely dangerous. 

The smoke from a barbecue can contain harmful chemicals that can seep into the pores of the wood, making it susceptible to fire.

In addition, the heat from the barbecue can cause the wood to warp and crack. 

In a worst-case scenario, your wooden porch may collapse, posing a serious and immediate fire hazard.

If you’re set on barbecuing on a wooden porch though, there are some things you can do to ensure a safe and happy outcome. 

First, make sure the grill is placed on a heat-resistant surface, such as a metal sheet or concrete block.

Second, use only charcoal that has been specifically designed for grilling, as it will produce less heat and more smoke. Finally, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher close by in case of an emergency.

Consider the Ventilation 

When you’re barbecuing on your porch, it’s important to make sure there’s enough ventilation. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with excessive smoke buildup, which isn’t good for anyone.

It can also become extremely dangerous if the smoke isn’t properly vented. 

There are a few things you can do to ensure proper ventilation. First, make sure there are no obstructions blocking the flow of air.

Most screened porches have plenty of ventilation, so it may not be a problem. 

However, the smaller the porch, the less ventilation there may be. So it’s important to also consider the size of your porch in relation to the size of your smoker.

Make sure to open all the doors and windows to create a cross-breeze if your screened porch doesn’t get much wind. 

If possible, position the grill so that the wind is blowing the smoke away from the house. This is the best option when smoking on a screened-in porch.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy your barbecue without putting yourself or your family at risk.

Consider the Clearance Overhead

If you’re cooking on a screened-in porch, it’s important to make sure that there’s enough clearance between the top of the smoker and the roof of the porch.

As you can probably imagine, a lot of heat escapes from a smoker, and heat always rises. 

If your ceiling is too low, it can become dangerous to use a smoker on your porch.

Heat and smoke can build up and cause damage to the porch or even start a fire if hot embers escape from the smoker. 

So before you fire up your barbecue smoker, take a moment to measure the height of the clearance above it. That way, you can be sure that you’re cooking in a safe and controlled environment. 

For most porches, as long as the ceiling is at least 3.5 feet (approximately 40 inches) above the top of your smoker, you should be safe, assuming all the previous considerations have also been met. 

It’s also crucial to consider the distance between any walls and the smoker itself. A hot smoker can easily damage drywall, stucco, wood, and other common building materials.

This can cause serious damage and even lead to a fire. 

To avoid this, make sure there is at least 12 inches of clearance between the smoker and any walls. 

Placement of the Smoker on a Screened Porch

Safely using a barbecue smoker on your screened-in porch ultimately comes down to placement.

You should be able to enjoy a nice summer day filled with smoky meats!

As long as your porch is large enough to accommodate plenty of space around the smoker itself, and can be positioned so that smoke is carried away from your home,


Now that you know all the important factors to consider, it’s time to enjoy your barbecue! Just remember to always use caution and common sense when cooking with a smoker.

By following these simple tips, you can safely use a smoker on your screened-in porch without putting yourself or your family at risk.


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.