If you live in an apartment or you ever lived in one, you’ve possibly come across pellet grills. These are versatile outdoor cookers that can grill, braise, sear and even bake using a PID( Proportional Integral Derivative) electric control panel to feed fuel pellets to the fire and regulate the grill’s airflow while maintaining consistent cooking temperatures.
So, is it safe to have pellet grills in your apartment?
Normally, pellet grills can be used in apartments with balconies that allow for electric grills and propane. Contrary to charcoal and wood grills, pellet grills don’t have an uncontrolled open flame, which is usually banned in apartments.
However, each apartment has its own regulations outlined in the lease agreement. Ensure to read through the lease to see if pellet grills are prohibited from being used on the balcony or patio.
To be sure that pellet grills are authorized in your apartment, confirm with the apartment’s leasing office or the manager.
What Is A Pellet Grill?
A pellet grill is a cooking utensil that uses wood pellets and electricity to create heat and smoke. Food on a pellet grill is cooked by indirect heat on a pellet through smoke and hot air. Unlike wood grills and charcoal, pellet grills can be turned off anytime by using the controller or by unplugging the grill.
Due to emergency concerns , apartments don’t allow the use of uncontrolled fires or grills. This is the reason why gas grills and propane are allowed on apartment compounds and balconies while charcoal grills are not.
Generally, pellet grills should only be allowed if the apartment compound allows for propane and gas grill use. But what if you are that one person who enjoys baking and grilling and living without a pellet grill that feels like prison to you? Can it be used indoors? Well, let’s find out.
Can Wood Pellets Be Used Indoors?
Although using electric grills and griddles can be a safe measure, these grills and griddles don’t burn wood pellets or produce smoke. Instead, pellet grills produce heat and smoke by burning the wood pellets.
So, can wood pellets be used indoors?
Unfortunately, pellet grills cannot be used inside because burning wood pellets produces carbon dioxide, smoke and other harmful chemicals. In addition, a lot of heat is produced by pellet grills, which would make the indoor area very scorching.
The amount of smoke produced by a pellet grill is enough reason not to consider using it indoors. Although you can use pellet grills under patios and decks, you need to ensure there is enough airflow to blow the smoke out of the covered compound.
For instance, a patio should have windows or gaps that allow the smoke to blow out. Pellet grills should not be used in closed areas or spaces with poor flow of air.
Can Wood Pellets Be Toxic?
The answer is yes.
Some manufacturers add chemicals to the wood pellets so as to come up with different flavors. These burning materials can cause serious problems when they get in your food. It is thus advised to stay away from poor wood pellet manufacturers and stick with trusted brands such as Pit Boss and Traeger, just to mention a few.
The best brands ensure that every flavour from the pellets is achieved with the natural composition of wood material they are using.
Other Wood Pellet Smoker Dangers
Apart from toxicity that is caused by the process of wood pellet manufacturing, there are other concerns you should know and prepare against. They are;
Any kind of burning will lead to the emission of carbon monoxide, which is known to cause depletion in the ozone layer. But thanks to top manufacturers ( such as those stated above) who have developed their wood pellets in support of clean combustion.
Wood pellets can cause serious fire hazards if kept too close to sources of ignition. Note that these pellets are made to be highly flammable and will catch fire at the introduction of a spark.
It is thus advised to store them away from your main living area and keep them in a cool, dry place.
Even when not in use, wood pellets produce a harmful carbon monoxide gas which is vital to health. To make it worse, the harmful emissions are not detectable unless special equipment is used.
The better part is that there is a low chance of your exposure to this risk. For a serious carbon monoxide emission to take place, you have to store a lot of wood pellets. Like crazy a lot. But since many wood pellet users do not store huge amounts of wood pellets, this is not an issue to worry about.
However, to be on the safe side, it is best you have in mind that your wood pellets in storage still emit carbon monoxide.
How To Safely Operate Your Wood Pellet
With the following steps, staying within the safe operating spectrum of your wood pellet will have you enjoy smoking your meat without hassles for a very long time.
If you have an outhouse away from the house, that will be the best place to store your wood pellets. Ensure the shed is away from serious technical work that could cause an ignition of any kind.
Also, storing your wood pellets away from home will reduce the effect of CO2 emissions on you and your family.
Selection Of Your Wood Pellets
As always said, cheap is not always great. Most nameless brands are selling knockoffs at the expense of your health just to make profits. Even if you think you are lucky to get a good deal, your health is the one to pay the price for it.
Better buy from trusted brands at a marginal cost and enjoy your meat with peacefulness in your mind.