How should solid fuel cooking appliances be vented?

December 13, 2022

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

When a homeowner cooks with solid fuel, the charcoal grill or smoker is in the yard. When a restaurant uses solid fuel to cook or add flavor to menu items, the establishment must follow venting guidelines in NFPA 96 for solid fuel cooking operations, to ensure safety of staff and patrons.

Chapter 14 of the Standard calls for a natural draft. This is accomplished with a supply and return air vent, sometimes coupled with a power-exhaust ventilation system. If vapors can escape from an open cooking appliance, a hood and exhaust system is required there. If not under a hood, the system must have a spark arrester to reduce embers in the chimney.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.

Solid fuel cooking with venting and automatic extinguishing system.