Is It Safe to Cook In a Pop up Gazebo & Why I Recommend AGAINST It!

Pop up gazebos or canopies, as others may call them, are great at providing shelter… 

If you’re considering cooking underneath a pop-up gazebo, then it’s an immediate no, you should think twice about cooking inside a fabric gazebo.

bbq cooking

The roof section of a gazebo is constructed from polyester and this fabric can easily ignite and burn.  Especially with the type of waterproof coating that is added to its exterior.

The side panels can also catch fire because they’re made from the same material but may have a lower level of PVC coating applied.  Regardless, they can still ignite and burn.

If you’re looking to cook outdoors then check out these BBQ Shelter kits in the UK

Purpose-built BBQ gazebos generally include shelves for plates of food and serving utensils.  The frames of BBQ shelters consist of powder-coated steel.

Why You Shouldn’t Cook inside a Pop-up Gazebo

Your Gazebo May Catch Fire

The canopy and side panels could catch fire.  This is dangerous if you’re underneath but it could also be hard to put the fire out once it’s started.


Once the fabric is burnt, your pop-up gazebo is of no use at all and would need throwing away unless you replace sections of it and that is expensive and unnecessary.

You May Breathe in Smoke or Carbon Monoxide

Cooking underneath may potentially risk serious health issues.

carbon monoxide

Cooking inside a gazebo and with the sides down will create a poorly ventilated area which will cause excessive smoke inhalation.

Breathing In Smoke Can Cause:

Could Damage the Waterproof Coating

Often during cookouts, 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 Canopies 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.

gazebo 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.

hot and sweaty

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…