Is It Safe to Cook In a Pop-up Gazebo?

  • By: Charlie Winters
  • Date: March 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Pop up canopies are fantastic for lots of reasons…  However, if you want to know whether you can cook underneath a pop-up gazebo, then the quick answer is no.

The fabric canopy is normally made from polyester and this type of fabric can ignite and burn quite easily, especially with the type of waterproof coating that is added to its exterior.

It’s not just the roof section that can ignite but also the side panels can catch fire because they’re are normally made from the same material.

To cook outdoors your best choice is to invest in a BBQ gazebo kit shelter that is purpose-built to protect against wayward flames and resist high temperatures.

A purpose-built BBQ gazebo shelter would normally include shelves for hot food and plates, cutlery and serving utensils.

These types of cookout shelters are generally made of powder-coated steel.

Reasons Not to Grill Under a Pop-up Canopy

  • Canopy and side panels fabric may catch fire
  • Poor ventilation may cause smoke inhalation or excessive carbon monoxide intake
  • Hot fat may spit and damage the waterproof coating
  • Pop-up Canopies are known to blow away if not properly installed
  • Excessive heat will damage the waterproof resistance
  • Flame retardant canopies will still get damaged
  • It will get too hot underneath the canopy

Canopy & Side Panels May Catch Fire

As mentioned above, the canopy and side panels may catch fire.  This will not only be a hazard should you be underneath whilst the happens but it could also prove hard to extinguish once ignited.

Once you have burnt the fabric of the roof then your pop-up canopy would be of no use at all and would need throwing away and replacing which could prove expensive and unnecessary.

Find Out If Can You Sleep In a Pop-up Gazebo, Here?

Poor Ventilation & Smoke Inhalation

If you decide to cook underneath then you are potentially risking serious health issues.

Cooking with a large canopy section above your head and with the side panels closed will create a poorly ventilated cooking area which would cause smoke inhalation.

Smoke inhalation can cause;

  • Coughing.
  • Trouble breathing normally.
  • Stinging eyes.
  • A scratchy throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Irritated sinuses.
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.

Could Damage the Waterproofing Effectiveness

Often during cookouts (BBQ’s), you cook food that has a high-fat content that may spit hot fat and this could land on the underside of the canopy or on the sidewalls causing the waterproofing to melt.

Once the protective coating (PU or PVC) has melted then it would no longer be effective during rain. It would still be usable but not as effective.

You may even end up with a large hole where the fat lands.

You could possibly try a waterproof spray to try and correct this but it would be a temporary measure as the protective coating you add manually would gradually fade become less effective.

Pop-up Gazebos Can Blow Away

If your canopy is not anchored down properly then it can easily blow away.  The last thing you’d want whilst cooking under a canopy would be for it to lift up and be blown away.

I have seen this happen first hand and the steel roof section, together with the legs can cause serious damage to whoever or whatever gets in the way whilst it’s being blown around.

All canopies should have anchor weights around the legs of the frame to hold it down.  However, even should you use anchors, you should still not cook underneath your canopy…

Very Hot Underneath the Canopy

In hot weather, canopies can still be uncomfortable to sit under because ventilation is not always that good, especially if you have the sides connected.

Can you imagine cooking underneath a canopy too?  As all the heat rises from the coals, the pointed roof section would hold a lot of the hot air, causing it to be very warm around head height level.

A vented roof canopy is better as this type lets air circulate and helps to keep your canopy environment cooler.  However, you should still not cook under a canopy, vented or not vented…

 

 

 

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