How to Level a Grill – Everything You Need to Know

How to Level a Grill – Everything You Need to Know

Leveling a grill is crucial for ensuring even cooking and preventing issues like grease pooling in one area. Here’s how you can level a grill:

  1. Check the Surface: Start by placing your grill on a flat and stable surface, such as a patio or a level concrete slab. If you’re using a portable grill, make sure the ground where you set it up is as level as possible.
  2. Use a Level: To determine if your grill is level, you’ll need a carpenter’s level. Place the level on top of the grill grates when they are cold and clean. Check both side-to-side and front-to-back to ensure the grill is level in both directions.
  3. Adjust the Legs: Many grills, especially larger ones, come with adjustable legs. If your grill is not level, adjust the legs accordingly. Most grill legs have screws or knobs that you can turn to either extend or retract them. To level the grill:
    • For side-to-side leveling: Adjust the legs on one side of the grill, either extending or retracting them until the level indicates that the grill is level.
    • For front-to-back leveling: Adjust the legs on the front or back of the grill, depending on the tilt. Again, use the level to guide your adjustments.
  4. Check Stability: Ensure that the grill is stable after making adjustments. Gently push on different sides of the grill to confirm that it doesn’t wobble or tip over.
  5. Recheck Level: After making adjustments, recheck the grill’s level with the carpenter’s level. Make additional adjustments if necessary until the grill is perfectly level.
  6. Secure the Grill: If your grill has wheel locks or brakes, engage them to prevent the grill from moving accidentally.
  7. Cooking Test: Before cooking, it’s a good idea to do a test run by heating the grill to your desired temperature. This will confirm that the heat is distributed evenly and that there are no issues with grease runoff.
  8. Regular Maintenance: Over time, the legs or wheels of your grill may shift or settle, so it’s a good practice to check the grill’s level periodically, especially if you move it frequently.

Properly leveling your grill ensures that your food cooks evenly and reduces the risk of flare-ups and other cooking-related problems. It’s a simple step that can significantly improve your grilling experience.

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Does grill need to be level?

Yes, it’s important for a grill to be level for several reasons:

  1. Even Cooking: A level grill ensures that the heat is distributed evenly across the cooking surface. If the grill is not level, one side may be hotter than the other, leading to uneven cooking. This can result in some food being overcooked while other parts are undercooked.
  2. Grease Management: Grills typically have a grease management system, such as a drip tray or grease pan. When the grill is level, these systems work effectively by channeling grease away from the burners and preventing flare-ups. If the grill is not level, grease can accumulate in one area, increasing the risk of flare-ups and making it harder to clean.
  3. Safety: A level grill is safer to use. It reduces the risk of accidents, such as hot grease spilling out of the drip tray or the grill tipping over.
  4. Proper Functioning: Many grills, especially gas grills, have components like burners, igniters, and regulators that work optimally when the grill is level. If the grill is not level, these components may not function correctly.
  5. Overall Cooking Experience: Cooking on a level grill is more convenient and enjoyable. It allows you to focus on cooking rather than constantly adjusting food placement to compensate for uneven heat.

To ensure that your grill performs at its best and that your food cooks evenly and safely, it’s a good practice to regularly check and level your grill as needed, especially if it’s been moved or placed on an uneven surface.

How do you level a flat top grill?

Leveling a flat top grill is important to ensure even cooking and prevent grease runoff issues. Here’s how you can level a flat top grill:

  1. Check for Level: Begin by placing a level tool on top of the grill’s cooking surface. This will help you determine which side of the grill is higher or lower.
  2. Adjust Grill Legs: Most flat top grills have adjustable legs that can be extended or retracted to level the grill. Locate the legs on the side of the grill that needs adjustment (the higher side).
  3. Adjust the Legs: Turn the adjustable legs clockwise to extend them and raise the lower side of the grill. Use a wrench or pliers if necessary to ensure the legs are securely tightened in their new position.
  4. Recheck Level: Place the level tool back on the grill’s surface to check if it’s now level. Repeat the process of adjusting the legs as needed until the grill is perfectly level.
  5. Secure the Grill: Once the grill is level, make sure it’s stable and securely positioned. You may want to place a solid, flat surface like a concrete slab or a grill pad under the grill to provide a stable base and prevent it from sinking into soft ground.
  6. Test for Stability: Gently push or shake the grill to ensure it doesn’t wobble or tip. If it feels stable and level, you’re ready to cook.

Regularly check the grill’s level, especially if you move it or place it on different surfaces. Cooking on a level flat top grill will result in better food quality and a more enjoyable grilling experience.

How do you position a grill?

Positioning a grill properly is essential for safety, efficiency, and optimal cooking results. Here are steps to help you position a grill:

  1. Select a Suitable Location:
    • Choose a location for your grill that is well-ventilated and away from structures, trees, or anything flammable.
    • Ensure the area is level to prevent the grill from wobbling or tipping.
  2. Maintain Clearance:
    • Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any combustible materials, including overhanging branches.
    • Check local codes and manufacturer recommendations for specific clearance requirements.
  3. Create a Fireproof Surface:
    • Place the grill on a non-combustible surface like concrete, pavers, or a grill pad. Avoid wooden decks or grass.
  4. Consider Wind Direction:
    • Position the grill so that prevailing winds do not blow smoke or flames toward structures or gathering areas.
  5. Accessibility:
    • Ensure the grill is easily accessible from your kitchen or food preparation area for convenience.
  6. Proximity to Utilities:
    • Keep the grill away from gas meters, water heaters, or other utility lines to prevent accidents.
  7. Avoid Enclosed Spaces:
    • Never use a grill indoors, in a garage, or under an overhang. Grilling in enclosed spaces can lead to carbon monoxide buildup, which is extremely dangerous.
  8. Use a Grill Mat:
    • Consider using a grill mat or pad underneath the grill to protect the surface it’s placed on.
  9. Shade and Shelter:
    • If possible, position the grill in a shaded area to make cooking more comfortable. However, ensure the shade is not provided by flammable materials.
  10. Lighting:
    • Ensure there is adequate lighting in the grilling area for safe cooking, especially if you plan to grill in the evening.
  11. Accessibility to Fuel Sources:
    • If you have a gas grill, make sure it is positioned close to the gas source and that the hose is safely connected.
  12. Child and Pet Safety:
    • Keep grilling areas away from where children and pets play to prevent accidents.
  13. Check Local Regulations:
    • Be aware of any local ordinances or regulations regarding outdoor grilling, including fire bans during dry seasons.
  14. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines:
    • Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety instructions specific to your grill model.

Remember that safety should always be the top priority when positioning a grill. Following these steps will help you create a safe and efficient grilling environment.


In conclusion, ensuring your grill is level is vital for safe and effective grilling. Proper positioning and leveling help prevent accidents, ensure even cooking, and maintain the longevity of your grill. Always follow safety guidelines and manufacturer recommendations for a worry-free grilling experience.

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