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Griddles walk that thin line between a stovetop and an outdoor grill. Can you cook with your griddle indoors? Well, let’s sort that out once and for all.
Yes, you can cook with your griddle indoors, BUT, as always there is more to this than just a simple “Yes”.
There are some serious safety precautions that must be discussed and considered before deciding if you want to do use an outdoor griddle indoors. Below you will see the pros, the cons, and the data from the CDC on what to consider.
What To Consider
A griddle is just a propane-powered cooking surface, like the same stovetop in your house. However, there are some combustion considerations and safety precautions to take into account before lighting that bad boy up just yet.
Because I walk the walk of the griddle game, and don’t just spew info for my own entertainment. Here is a pic of us using the griddle in our RV while on vacation in Yellowstone because the RV factory stove SUCKS.
Size: Depending on the size of your griddle or flat-top grill, you could be stuck if you need to bring it indoors. Some of these griddles are large, like the size of your standard grill, moving around may not be the best idea. However, because I am the Griddle King, aside from the larger griddle, I also have the Blackstone 17" Tabletop Griddle and it is PERFECT for bringing to a campsite BTW if you were wondering. I'm a fan if you cant tell.
Propane: Yes, propane is one of those parts of the griddle cooking experience that cant is overcome. If you’re planning on cooking indoors, you need to be thinking about the size bottle of propane coming into your house. Personally, I don’t want a large outdoor styled propane tank coming in the house. However, if you have the smaller green camping styled propane containers, that works too.
HOWEVER, remember all those “considerations” I was referring to at the beginning? Well, let’s talk about propane combustion rates because that is where this can get dangerous.
Propane Combustion CAN make Carbon Monoxide
Let’s just get this out there now, yes, it is possible for Propane to create Carbon Monoxide. How? Well, without getting too scientific, it depends on if the propane went through the proper combustion process.
Carbon Monoxide is produced during the incomplete combustion of propane. Incomplete combustion is defined as within the limits of flammability but higher or lower than the ideal ratio of 4 parts propane 96 parts air. Incomplete propane combustion can occur in one of two ways:
- Propane Lean Burn – The ratio of propane to air is less than 4 parts propane. 2.5 parts propane to 97.5 parts air would produce a lean burn. A lean burn can be recognized when flames appear to lift away from the burner and can potentially go out.
- Propane Rich Burn – A ratio of propane to air is more than 4 parts propane. 8.5 parts propane to 91.5 parts air would produce a rich burn. Recognizing a rich burn is very simple as the flames are much larger than they are supposed to be and are largely yellow in color. Read more.
So, that's concerning enough and for me, after learning this, it’s enough for me to no longer do it. I have no idea how to determine if the propane is combusting properly and not creating Carbon Monoxide.
Other Hazard Considerations When Cooking With A Griddle Indoors
Open Flame: Although it’s not the end of the world, it’s important to consider the fact that a griddle’s source of heat is a flame. Because of this, put careful thought into what you cook next to. Drapes, papers, and blankets near the griddle could be a disaster waiting to happen. But, like all things use common sense, I’m sure you don’t have papers, drapes, and blankets near your stovetop either. The same thought process here folks. Keep it simple.
Mess: Cooking on a griddle is a bit messy, even if you're careful. Hot oil and grease popping off the side onto the tabletop or counter are not uncommon in this labor of love we share. With that said, this is another consideration to think about when you consider using a griddle indoors. Here is a great resource on How To Clean A Outdoor Griddle.
Gases / Odors: A question that comes up often is if it’s safe? Well, I’m no expert on noxious gases but I do believe this can be safely treated just that of your open flame gas top stove. However, you are still using gas lines, and if the propane odor is detected when the griddle is off, that's a good indicator that there could be a leak, and moving the griddle and propane back outside is a must while you investigator the source of the propane smell.
Know the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
While we are on the subject of the potential for propane to create Carbon Monoxide, I think it’s a good time to remind you to be aware of the symptoms of potential carbon monoxide poisoning.
From the CDC:
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. Read more.
So, is it worth risking all that? For me? No.
However, an excellent alternative is to use your garage! You keep yourself out of the house and out of the elements but have the ability to really vent the area well with the garage door open.
Must-Have Griddle Accessories:
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That's all folks! I hope this was helpful in you making a decision. Personally, the risks outweigh the rewards. If you must use the Griddle indoors, I recommend doing it in the garage with the door open and/or ventilating your house very well. In addition, remember the warning signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
With that said, go gather some food and GET GRIDDLING!
Griddle King, out.