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Is it Safe to Use a Propane Grill Indoors? All You Need to Know!

Is it Safe to Use a Propane Grill Indoors? All You Need to Know!

I love being at my grill, and I have both a charcoal grill and a propane grill. Since the weather isn’t always ideal for grilling, I have wondered is it safe to use a propane grill indoors?

As a general rule, a propane grill is not safe for indoor use, as carbon monoxide buildup can result, and gas leaks from the tank can release deadly gas not detected by carbon monoxide detectors. Also, because grills give off more heat than ovens, and are less insulated, they can create a fire hazard.  

But there’s a lot more to know about propane grills, safety, and a great alternative when you need a way to grill indoors. So in this article, we’re diving deep into the world of propane grills.

We’ll examine safety concerns over carbon monoxide, whether detectors will let you know of a propane tank leak, and whether you should keep your extra propane tanks indoors.

So let’s dive in!

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Can you use a gas grill indoors?

You should not use a gas grill indoors. They are typically not insulated or vented the way a gas stove is, so aside from generating excess heat inside your home, they also pose a significant carbon monoxide threat.

Technically, a gas grill, either propane or natural gas, isn’t much different from a gas stove.

So from that standpoint, since there isn’t much difference, you probably could use a gas or propane grill indoors. But having said that, let me tell you why I wouldn’t:

  • Outdoor grills are not insulated like your oven – No insulation means it will put off a lot of heat! I once had my grill outside a foot from my shed and it actually melted the plasic wall of my shed without ever even touching it!
  • Possible carbon monoxide buildup in your home – Your oven typically has a vent right above it. Because of it being well insulated, all the fumes, smoke, and carbon monoxide generally go right up into the vent hood. Using a gas or propane grill just in the middle of the room could potentially create a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Possible gas leaks – Unlike your gas valve on your oven, the gas line from your grill to your propane tank is relatively inexpensive and likely a little worn due to being repeatedly taken on and off. That makes leaks possible.
  • Weak tank valves – Propane tanksget sold by the thousands every day and most of us return the empties and grab a new one. That means most of us are using tanks that have been filled and emptied repeatedly. All that wear and tear makes the tank valve more prone to leakage.

There are, of course, ovens with built-in gas grills, but those are designed to use the natural gas line that runs to your house which isn’t being repeatedly taken on and off.

The oven itself is also well insulated so that most of the heat and smoke goes right up to your vent hood.

Because of the tremendous heat given off by traditional outdoor propane or gas grills, using it indoors also makes it much more prone to cause a fire. Too close to a wall, curtains or anything paper, and you could have a serious fire in minutes.

Lastly, I’ll just say that if you do develop any sort of gas leak from your tank, line, or grill, because of the confined space of being indoors, the buildup of carbon monoxide will be much greater and could potentially be very deadly.

If you love to grill, you’ve no doubt had your share of burned veggies on the grill.

I got frustrated with inconsistent results with my veggies, and did some extensive research, and turned it into an expert guide which you can check out on my site by clicking the link.

What really surprised me is the differences in how long to leave corn on the grill compared to things like asparagus or squash.

Do propane grills give off carbon monoxide?

Yes. Carbon monoxide is released from propane grills. When used outside, the carbon monoxide and smoke have lots of room to safely travel away from the griller and their guests. Indoors, without proper ventilation, there can quickly be a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide.

If you Google around, it’s not hard to find stories of tragedy of improper use or ventilation of gas grills and carbon monoxide poisoning.

When propane/gas, charcoal, or wood is burning, the carbon monoxide coming off the heat is turned into carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is fairly harmless.

However, once the flames have gone out on your grill, that carbon monoxide is no longer burnt off and continues to build up until the grills is completely cold and nothing is continuing to smolder.

Because of that, people sometimes make the fatal mistake of bringing their grill into a confined area with poor ventilation such as a tent for camping, or into a house when a sudden rainstorm starts.

Again, with good ventilation like your stovetop has, it’s a non-issue. But anywhere else could be deadly.

Will a carbon monoxide detector detect a propane leak on my grill?

No, a carbon monoxide detector cannot detect a propane leak because a propane leak and carbon monoxide are not the same things. Carbon Monoxide is a by-product of the burning of fuel. A gas leak, however, will be present as long as there is fuel, whether or not the grill is in use.

So if your grill is off, and hasn’t been used recently, and is stone-cold, it will not be giving off carbon monoxide.

If you have a gas leak, however, at the tank, line, or burner assembly, it could easily be leaking when the grill is off. But no carbon monoxide detector will tell you that.

So that’s another reason why using a grill designed for outdoors indoors is a bad idea.

If you want to be sure your valve and connectors aren’t leaking, place some dish liquid on the connectors. If there is any gas leaking you’ll see bubbles.

That being said, there ARE combo-detectors that can detect carbon monoxide, propane, and natural gas.

So if you have any gas appliances in your home (I don’t despite my love of cooking with gas), I wouldn’t hesitate to get one of these for each area where you have a gas appliance.

The one to get is definitely the FIRST ALERT Combination Explosive Gas and Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

It detects high levels of propane or natural gas in addition to high levels of carbon monoxide. Installation is simple; just plug it into a wall socket.

If it detects high levels of any of those an 85-decibel alarm will sound. Over 1,000 largely great reviews and free Prime shipping just add to the greatness.

Check it out on Amazon.

Is it safe to use a propane camp stove indoors?

Propane camping stoves can be used indoors if the stove has the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification sticker on it. Even with that sticker, it can still pose a carbon monoxide threat, so always use proper ventilation and caution.

In short, if you don’t see that sticker on your stove, don’t use it indoors.

The reason to not use one indoors is exactly the same as the reasons to not use any type of propane or gas grill indoors:

  • Carbon monoxide build-up
  • Improper ventilation in the area you’re likely using the grill
  • Possible gas leaks where the tank connects to the stove

If you’re confused by all the different types of grills and smokers, I wrote an in-depth guide which you can see by clicking the link.

I break down everything you need to know about each type, including the surprising aspects I learned about pellet grills and smokers.

Is it safe to keep a propane tank indoors?

Propane tanks should be stored outside and never stored or used indoors or even in a garage or shed unless completely empty. A propane tank with gas in it always has the potential to leak and can cause a build-up of odorless, but potentially deadly gas inside any confined space.

Remember, as I mentioned above, a carbon monoxide detector alone won’t alert you to the presence of propane or natural gas. Carbon monoxide, after all, is the result of burning those fuels.

Ultimately, a lot of people have concerns about how safe propane grills are.

People worry about tanks getting too hot, or defective gas valves and knobs. But in actuality, propane grills are very safe (when used outside). I did write an in-depth guide about propane grill safety though, so click the link to check that out.

What surprised me the most was the temperature a tank has to reach before it explodes.

Are there gas or propane grills designed for indoor use?

In short, while there might be, I couldn’t find any.

Probably the likelihood of fires or carbon monoxide has caused all the manufacturers to steer clear of making a potentially deadly product.

I did, however, check out an excellent electric indoor/outdoor grill from, you guessed it, George Foreman.

Now don’t go assuming this is just another of his glorified panini presses. This thing is actually a real grill. And it has a large cooking surface too; enough for steaks and veggies for a family of 4!

It has a non-stick surface for easy cooking. But it also comes with a center drain and grease catcher for no mess and easy cleanup.

Best of all, it comes with a stand just like a real grill.

That way it can either sit on a counter or just on its own on the stand. It’s indoor/outdoor, so it’s also great for folks who want to grill on an apartment balcony that won’t allow propane or charcoal grills.

Even better than all that are the outstanding reviews (almost 5 stars total) and free shipping from Amazon.

Check it out on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we took an in-depth look into the world of propane grills.

We examined the top safety concerns about tank storage and carbon monoxide fumes. But ultimately, we answered the question of whether or not it’s safe to use a propane grill indoors with a resounding, maybe, but probably not.

Technically, a propane grill isn’t much different than your gas stove.

But, grills aren’t usually insulated the way ovens are, which can create a lot of excess heat indoors, and potentially create a fire hazard.

Also, because of the way the hose attaches to the propane tank, gas leaks are more likely and gas leaks indoors are more deadly than outdoors because of the buildup of the fumes.

So use your best judgment, but for most of us, it’s not a great idea.

Have you tried using a propane grill indoors?

Get ALL my Top Recommendations on Grills, Smokers, and BBQ Accessories with descriptions and direct links for easy browsing!