In this guide we’ll look at the best BBQ shelters.
We’ve compared size, construction quality, materials and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best BBQ Shelter?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Extremely versatile 2-in-1 design creating the perfect BBQ spot!
This Party Arbour and Barbeque Shelter by Rowlinson offers 2-in-1, functioning both as the perfect BBQ spot and a covered bench area. The pressure-treated wooden arch has a hinged bench, perfect for sitting on during the summer. Then, when it’s time to BBQ, the bench simply folds up providing a 1.5 m space for your BBQ. Side tables fold out giving you increased storage and preparation space.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed BBQ Shelter Reviews
Party Arbour and Barbeque Shelter by Rowlinson Review
The Rowlinson Shelter is the best BBQ shelter on the market.
It has been extremely well designed. The shelter looks great when set up with the BBQ, providing extra side table space, and functions as a covered bench area when there’s no BBQ in sight.
When the hinged bench is lifted, there is space for a BBQ up to 1.5 m wide. The side panels also hinge and secure into place, turning into handy tables for your cooked food or snacks.
It’s easy to assemble, and very simple to change from benched area, to BBQ spot, and back again. You’ll definitely wonder how you ever lived without such a beautiful and practical addition to your garden!
This shelter is very safe, made from FSC softwood and treated with fire retardant.
It’s also pressure treated, to protect against rot, so you won’t need to treat the wood yourself for several years.
Anchor Fast Devon BBQ Wooden Shelter Review
The Anchor Fast Devon Wooden Shelter is another gorgeous BBQ shelter that will let you cook your sausages and burgers even in the most persistent of rain showers!
This high-quality shelter will stand the test of time and is made from heavy-duty timber with a seriously sturdy construction.
This has an internal width of 1.93 m so it’s suitable for large BBQs. It doesn’t need fixing to the floor, and will withstand even the worst of the Great British weather!
When you’re not BBQing, you can position some chairs under the pagoda to enjoy a covered outdoor seating area.
It’s also easy to assemble, arriving flat packed it’ll take you a few hours to put together.
Forest Garden BBQ Shelter Review
The Forest Garden BBQ Shelter is another strong contender for the best BBQ shelter, offering the perfect space for al fresco cooking – even when the weather doesn’t play ball!
This has extra-wide side rails that can be used for plates, glasses and prepping food.
The roof vents ensure efficient circulation, so it doesn’t matter if you burn the sausages – the area will be kept ventilated! Plus, it’s all made from smooth, pressure-treated timber for a long-lasting build.
This shelter is delivered flat packed for easy assembly, and you’ll be merrily grilling away in no time!
Tepro 3109 Barbeque Shelter Review
The Tepro 3109 Barbeque Shelter has the possibility to be a less-permanent structure than some of the others, but it’s the best BBQ shelter if you’re looking for something you can easily pack away when autumn comes round.
It’s a simple square-shaped model that offers the perfect home for your beloved BBQ during summer. It has a double-roof construction allowing for ventilation and stopping gusts of wind causing damage. The minimalist design looks great in any garden.
It comes with guy ropes and pegs that allow you to set it up securely, but it’s equally easy to move around if necessary. At the end of BBQ season, the standing structure can be left out and just the canopy taken down, or you can deconstruct the whole thing for storage if you prefer.
The shelter is very durable, the frame is made from powder-coated steel that is sturdy and long lasting. The canopy is both water resistant and fire retardant, and it comes with gorgeous granite glass side tables for sauces, grilled food and salads.
Sunjoy Patio Soft Top BBQ Gazebo with LED Review
The Sunjoy Patio BBQ Gazebo offers great UV protection while you BBQ your food, plus it’s an attractive addition to any garden!
It measures 2.5 x 2.4 x 1.5 m.
This gazebo comes with 2 handy shelves for sauces, drinks or food, plus hanging hooks for your BBQ utensils.
The polyester sunshade provides great protection against the elements, keeping your BBQ out of direct sunlight. Best of all, there are 4 built-in LED lights so you can entertain well after the sun has set.
With a sturdy steel construction and a rust-resistant finish, this gazebo will be a summertime staple for years to come.
Things to Know Before Buying a BBQ Shelter
There’s not much better than a weekend BBQ when the weather starts to get a little warmer.
However, just because the temperatures are no longer threatening minus numbers, doesn’t mean we can guarantee BBQ-appropriate weather – and soggy burgers and sausages are no one’s idea of a good time (especially if you’re the poor chef having to cook outside in the rain)!
A BBQ shelter will protect you, your BBQ and your beloved sausages from the blazing sun, as well as an unexpected downpour. They usually have built in shelves and other accessories that’ll make entertaining guests easy and fuss-free.
Keen to buy a BBQ shelter but not sure where to start? Take a look at the following tips:
Your shelter needs to fit your BBQ in comfortably, at the very least. Plus many people like to have a little extra room to allow for huddling under if it rains.
If you have a small garden, you’ll need a small shelter to avoid overcrowding your space. You might like to consider a shelter which is versatile and has ‘dual use’ so that you can really make the most out of having the structure in your garden. For example, some BBQ shelters have hinged benches, meaning they can be used as cosy seating areas and then transform into covered BBQ areas when required.
Larger gardens can accommodate bigger shelters. Large shelters can be kitted out with a table and chairs so you can sit and enjoy your food, away from the rain.
Naturally, you want a BBQ shelter that is going to stand the test of time, keeping you shaded or dry whilst creating an idea spot for your BBQ.
If you’re after a wooden structure, opt for one that has been constructed from ‘pressure-treated wood’. This type of wood has undergone a chemical process to strengthen it and prevent it from weathering and rotting. Treated wood also won’t be invaded by wood-loving insects.
Pressure-treated wood is relatively low maintenance, able to be left outside in all weathers and not require any special treatment for the first several years. After the first 5+ years you may want to consider applying a coat of waterproofing treatment to make sure the structure continues to last.
If the wood is not pressure treated, you will have to make sure that you treat it so that it is weatherproof before leaving it outside.
Structures with wooden roofs also tend to offer good protection from rain.
Metal is the other option for a sturdy, weather-resistant BBQ shelter. Structures like the Tepro 3109 Barbeque Shelter have a very strong metal construction, with a ‘canopy’ style roof. Metal tends to be fine for leaving out in all weather (make sure it states that it is rust and weather resistant), but you may want to detach the canopy roof and store it away when not in use.
If you do choose a shelter with a canopy roof, make sure the canopy has got ventilation. This is necessary for two reasons. Firstly, if you are BBQing under a shelter, ventilation for the smoke is extremely important. Secondly, ventilation holes will ensure that there is not an imbalance of wind pressure on either side of the canopy. Without ventilation holes a big gust of wind could pull on the canopy.
What’s better than a sturdy, weather-resistant BBQ shelter?
A sturdy, weather-resistant BBQ shelter that also has loads of well-designed extra features!
Here are some of the things to look out for to make sure you really get the best BBQ shelter around:
A Multi-Functional Unit
BBQs are fantastic, but they’re not something we’re necessarily able to enjoy 24/7. Therefore, it can be nice if your BBQ shelter can also be used for other purposes, not just for sheltering your grill.
Some units, like the Rowlinson Shelter, are multifunctional. This particular model has a hinged bench which can be used when the BBQ is not under the shelter. As a result, this BBQ shelter doubles as a really attractive sheltered bench area. It’s win-win with this sort of unit really – you’ll find yourself getting so much use out of it.
Other shelters are large enough so that garden chairs can be placed under them when the BBQ isn’t there. These can also become nice places to relax in the garden, providing another valuable purpose even when BBQing isn’t on the cards.
A lot of BBQs have some form of side table, but ‘the more space the better’ is definitely a common rule when BBQing. It’s so much easier when you can have a separate area for cooked meat, uncooked meat, vegetable preparation, drinks and salads.
Folding Side Tables
Some wooden units, that have been specifically designed with BBQs in mind, have hinged side tables. These lie flat against the structure when not in use, and can then be pulled out when required. This is a fantastically innovative system; they’re not in the way when not needed, but can be incredibly useful to have.
Plus, these folding side tables are great to make use of when using the garden for snacks and drinks when entertaining, even if the BBQ isn’t being used.
Ledges are good for perching BBQ items, and some BBQ shelters actually offer quite a lot of ledge space. In fact, models like the Sunjoy Patio BBQ Gazebo even have hooks attached to these shelves which are ideal for hanging BBQ utensils from.
The two downside are that these ledges/shelves aren’t as big as folding tables, and if they are on the larger side then they can intrude into the space of the shelter. But, regardless, they certainly do prove useful when entertaining in the garden.
Now, whilst LED lights certainly aren’t a necessity, they can prove surprisingly invaluable during late summer evenings.
If your BBQ and shelter is set up away from your patio and wall-mounted lighting… how will you light the shelter?
You’re sure to get far more use out of your BBQ shelter if you have an easy option to keep it illuminated. Imagine, you can even cook up a light BBQ supper at 10 pm if your guests are still around, without everyone having to traipse into the house because it’s too dark!
These are long-lasting, battery-powered lights so you don’t need to worry about being near a mains plug.
A smoke-filled shelter is a sure fire way to ruin a BBQ, so ensure you choose one with good ventilation.
Tent-style gazebos like the Sunjoy Patio BBQ Gazebo with open sides and roof ventilation will allow fresh air to flow in and out easily.
Ideally wooden shelters should have roof vents to aid ventilation.
A weatherproof shelter is a must have. Look for waterproof (or at the very least, water resistant) materials that won’t fade in the sunlight. If you live in a particularly windy area, go for a heavier shelter or, better still, one that can be tied down using guy lines and ropes.
There’s a balance that needs to be found between ‘easy of assembly’ and ‘sturdiness’.
To some extent this will be personal preference.
If you’re looking for a BBQ shelter which primarily acts as a sun shade, and is easy to take down and put up quickly, a ‘pop-up’ gazebo design will suit you well.
These are definitely not permanent structures, and shouldn’t be left unattended. This style of gazebo will need to be taken down every time after use. Primarily this is because they aren’t necessarily sturdy enough to withstand sudden bad weather that could occur overnight. This type of gazebo will be showerproof at best, but don’t expect it to be your saviour during a very heavy downpour.
Next are ‘semi permanent’ structures like metal gazebos with canopy roofs.
These are a lot more sturdy, and can offer some possibilities to be packed away and stored. Whilst they don’t offer immediate ‘put up, take down’ assembly, they can certainly be taken apart at the end of the season if you wish. If the canopy is ventilated, these structures can be pretty sturdy through the majority of weather. The canopy is generally easy to detach and can be stored away without problem to protect it.
Wooden structures are generally not overly complicated to put together but, owing to the nature of the fittings used, once it’s up you’re probably not going to want to take it down again.
The good news is that these structures tend to be extremely sturdy and weatherproof, offering good protection to you and your BBQ and still lasting a long time.
BBQ Shelter FAQs
While many people enjoy cooking under a gazebo, they are not nearly as safe as cooking under a specially designed BBQ shelter. Gazebos are generally made from flammable materials, while BBQ shelters are a lot safer.
If you are planning to use your BBQ under a gazebo, you should keep the gazebo and BBQ away from any surrounding trees, and ensure the gazebo has good ventilation.
This depends on whether your BBQ shelter is a permanent or temporary fixture. Wooden shelters are decorative, and designed to be left in your garden year-round.
Temporary BBQ shelters should be taken down overnight and not left unattended.
Cleaning a BBQ shelter canopy can be a little tricky, but without the right care and attention, mould and mildew can weaken the material and shorten the lifespan of your new shelter.
- Use mild detergent, a soft haired broom, a sponge and a hose.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and detergent, then dip the broom into the bucket and gently scrub the canopy to remove mildew and other stains.
- For very stubborn areas, you may need to use a little elbow grease! Use a sponge with much more detergent.
- After removing the stains, rinse the gazebo completely using water from the hose, then allow it to dry completely before repacking and storing.