Let’s be honest – who on earth doesn’t enjoy the delicious smoky flavor of BBQ? Smoked meats, fish, and veggies are undoubtedly mouthwatering good, and perhaps that’s why smokers are increasingly exploding in popularity.
But before you get yourself armed for a long day of smoking meats, one critical decision you’ll need to make is where you’re going to set up your smoker, whether electric or charcoal-powered.
And if you are like most people, you are likely to think of your wood deck as the perfect spot. After all, not many outdoor moments beat kicking back on the deck with a cold beer or lemonade in hand, especially when there’s the tantalizing smell of smoked food wafting through the air. But can you use a smoker on the wood deck? We’ll explore this question in more depth below.
Can You Use an Electric Smoker on a Wood Deck?
Yes, you can use an electric smoker on a wood deck and have a great experience in your outdoor cooking. However, for your safety, that of the people around you, and that of your beautiful deck as well, we have a few words of caution when doing so.
We all enjoy spending time outdoors, especially on the decks during the warmer months. So, it’s only natural to develop the idea of wanting to expand your outdoor living space and use your deck for cooking as well.
But before you start smoking away on your wood deck, it’s essential to understand that a typical deck flooring isn’t designed to withstand high temperatures. With that in mind, setting up your electric smoker on the wood deck is perfectly fine, as long as you take measures to protect your deck surface.
First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that you place the electric smoker on something heat-resistant. A fireproof mat will do the trick nicely. A mat will protect your wooden deck from any potential heat damage and keep the smoker from slipping when in use.
Secondly, you’ll want to take care when running electrical cords to and from your electric smoker. Be sure to only run the cords over areas where they are unlikely to trip anyone up. A single misplaced cord could cause someone to stumble, get injured, and cause the smoker to tip over – and we all know how disastrous that would be.
And lastly, it’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand when using an electric smoker, just in case. Well, it’s likely that things will never go to that extremity, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Can You Use the Charcoal Grill on a Wooden Deck?
Yes, using a charcoal grill on a wood deck is doable. But again, you must be willing to operate within some boundaries to protect your deck. As long as you consider the precautionary measures, you’ll be good to go.
For instance, much like electric smokers, you’ll first want to invest in a good-quality grill mat. It will protect your deck from any potential heat damage that may occur. After all, sometimes your deck doesn’t need direct fire to be damaged – the high heat from your grill can be just as damaging.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using good-quality charcoal. Avoid charcoals that are likely to send sparks and embers flying, as these can cause severe damage to your wood deck.
Can You Use a Smoker on a Patio?
You can use a smoker on a patio, which should work fine. However, ensure that you first do everything possible to eliminate the chances of accidents when using the smoker on a patio.
A patio is a beautiful place we all love to relax, dine, and entertain guests. And what goes great with all of those activities? Smoking meats, of course!
And if you intend to use your smoker on the patio, you’re in the clear. But that’s subject to the place meeting a few specific requirements.
First, where you want to place the smoker should be level. Using an uneven surface for your smoker can cause the unit to topple over, which would not be a pleasant experience.
The second is more obvious, that the smoker should go on something heat-resistant. You don’t want to assume that the patio floor will withstand the heat, especially if it’s of wooden construction.
So, to be on the safe side, place your smoker on a heat-resistant mat or something similar. This will protect your patio from any heat damage.
Also, ensure that the smoker is far from the siding of your house. The last thing you want is for the smoker to cause any damage to your house. Ideally, 10 feet should be enough distance.
Can You Use an Electric Smoker Inside?
Whether you can use an electric smoker inside depends on your type. Some electric smokers are designed for indoor use and are, therefore, safe for indoors. However, others are strictly for outdoor applications and should never be brought into your inside space.
Outdoors is undoubtedly one of the best places for BBQs. But sometimes, it’s just not possible to take the party outside for one reason or another. In this case, you might wonder if you can use your electric smoker inside.
The truth is that it depends on the type of electric smoker. For indoor applications, you must have an indoor smoker. These units have features that favor indoor use and are typically smaller than their outdoor counterparts to save on space.
So, as long as you have an indoor smoker, you’re good to go! Only ensure that you use a heat-resistant surface and that there’s sufficient ventilation in the room. And of course, that’s without forgetting other safety precautions.
On the other hand, electric smokers designed for outdoor use don’t fare well indoors. The main reason is that they produce a lot of smoke, which you don’t want in your house. As such, we highly recommend that you use them outdoors only.
So, in other words, before using your smoker inside your house, check whether it bears an indoor label. And as usual, getting to know the pros and cons of using an indoor meat smoker pays off first.
Are Electric Smokers Allowed in Apartments?
It depends on the apartment complex’s rules and regulations. Some complexes allow electric smokers while others don’t. So, it would be best to check with your complex’s management before using one.
One thing about living in apartments is that you just don’t get the same level of freedom as you would if you owned your home. And that’s completely understandable given that apartments are, well, shared spaces.
So, rules and regulations are put in place to ensure that the peace and sanctity of the apartments are not disturbed. And in some cases, that might include a ban on electric smokers.
Now, that’s not to say you can’t use an electric smoker in an apartment. It all comes down to the complex’s policies. Some complexes only allow smokers as long as it doesn’t use charcoal.
But regardless of whether your complex allows electric smokers or not, always use common courtesy. That means not smoking in areas where it’s not allowed and being mindful of the people around you.
The last thing you want is to cause a disturbance and get kicked out of your apartment because of it.
Best Places To Use an Electric Smoker
Some of the best places to use an electric smoker include decks, patios, yards, parks, beaches, and campsites, and it doesn’t end there. And regardless of where you choose, always keep safety in mind.
Outdoors is, without a doubt, the best place to use an electric smoker. And if you are looking for the best places for positioning your smoker, then your deck, patio, or yard would be ideal. They are all great places to set up your smoker and enjoy the outdoors while cooking. You can still use your garage, but that comes with more stringent rules.
Another great place to use your electric smoker is at the beach or camping. These are both great places to enjoy the outdoors and cook your food at the same time. Just make sure that you follow the rules and regulations for each location.
And, of course, you can use your electric smoker anywhere else you see fit. Just remember to use common sense and be considerate of those around you.
Where Not To Use an Electric Smoker?
There are some places where you should not use your electric smoker, regardless of how tempting it might be. These include enclosed spaces, near flammable materials, and indoors (without proper ventilation).
Enclosed spaces include sheds, garages, storage units, and the like. These are not ideal places to use your smoker because of the lack of ventilation. And in some cases, they might even be against the law.
Another place you should not use your electric smoker is near flammable materials. This includes things like gasoline, propane, and other chemicals. So, it’s best to avoid using your smoker in these areas.
And last but not least, you should not use your electric smoker indoors without proper ventilation, even when the unit is indoor-rated. Keep in mind that smokers produce carbon (ii) oxide, a lethal gas that you can’t smell, see, or taste. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it indoors.
There are many ideal areas for your smoker, and the deck is one of these places. As long as it’s well-ventilated, the deck can be a great place to use your smoker.
And as usual, always ensure that you put in place all the precautionary measures when using your smoker on the deck. That way, you’ll be sure to enjoy your smoking experience without risking your beautiful deck and, more importantly, your safety and those around you.