Yes, your gorgeous redwood deck is indeed made of, uhm, wood and sealed and/or stained with a liquid that sure seems as if it is probably ultra flammable; however, neither of these seemingly frightening facts means that you cannot cook upon your deck. No, by taking the right precautions, you can in fact safely grill, barbecue, and smoke safely on your wooden deck.
Location, Location, Location
The first key to safely cooking on your wooden deck is all about location, location, location. Make sure your grill or smoker is nowhere near your home’s walls or the wooden railing of your deck. A good rule of thumb is to keep it at least three feet from all vertical surfaces.
Also, do not do any grilling or other cooking near any trees, plants, deck umbrellas or anything else that might catch fire. When selecting a location for your cooking unit, you must keep in mind that the hottest part of your barbecue is normally at waist level and above, so keep this area free of everything.
If you wish, you ought to consider getting a grill mat for your grill to sit upon. These mats are fire-retardant and made specifically to protect wooden decks and other surfaces from the dangers of flame and sparks.
Lighting the Charcoal is a Time of Danger
If you use a charcoal chimney to light your charcoal you know that flames burn high out of the top of the device. This is of course dangerous. Light your briquettes while they are on the lower grate INSIDE your barbecue and never leave the chimney alone.
Starve the Fire When Done
When you are done grilling, smoking, or barbecuing you must starve the fire of oxygen so that it will completely die out. You do this by closing all of your unit’s vents. This will also help you keep your briquettes from burning all the way down to ash, so that you can use them next time you grill.