Rumors of a Charcoal or Gas Grill Ban in New York

Kyndell Harkness/Star Tribune via AP

Spring has arrived here in New York State, not that you would know it looking at the current weather forecast. And that means that grilling season is once again upon us. Those who follow my social media streams know that we have a spring ritual at my house where I load up the grill with charcoal and toss on some steaks. This year, however, some disturbing rumors have been making the rounds. New York tends to follow the trends set by states like California and the climate alarmists have been banning things like natural gas and other supposed carbon demons. Some legislators in the state capital have been making noises about extending those bans to propane and even charcoal, which would be bad news for grilling fans. This has led to rumors flying around local media outlets such as this one from WYRK in Buffalo, ominously titled, "The End of Outdoor Grilling in New York?"

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The spring or 2024 has arrived and it is time to break out the grill, smoker or bbq. But what does New York State have planned for the future of your propane or charcoal grill?

There are rumors that a statewide ban on various gas and coal/wood fired items may be looming in New York State.

If you love gas grills like I do, have you wondered what lies ahead when it comes to the laws? New York State does tend to follow other state's when it comes to "progressive" laws and there is a chance that may happen again.

Fortunately for people like me, there is no such law currently being considered by the state government. (At least... not yet.) Another news outlet reached out to Governor Kathy Hochul's office for comment and they quickly replied. The news station was informed that the state is "not pursuing any bans on outdoor propane or charcoal grills."

So that would appear to be where the situation stands today. But Hochul's office may as well have included the phrase "at this time" at the end of their statement because you know for a fact that they are thinking and talking about it. They would dearly love to be able to ban outdoor grills because that's far too much of an American activity. You're not supposed to be eating steaks and burgers. They want you living in a pod and eating bugs or, more recently, mold. Also, charcoal and propane anger the Climate Goddess, and she must be appeased at all costs. 

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Both New York and California have already taken steps in that direction. New York has banned the installation of natural gas lines in new construction starting in 2026. California recently banned the sale of single-use propane tanks such as the ones used in camping grills, and Albany has begun discussing that as well. Could a ban on the larger, refillable propane tanks used in BBQ grills be far behind? From there it's only a small step to banning the sale of bags of charcoal. In that way, the state wouldn't really have to ban the possession of a grill. They would simply outlaw any method of practically heating it up so you can cook on it.

I believe that deep down in her dark heart, Governor Hochul knows that trying to ban outdoor grilling would be a step too far, even for her. It's a way of life in upstate New York and people would be up in arms. Hochul came within less than ten points of losing her last election. She doesn't need an angry mob of men wearing BBQ aprons and waving spatulas showing up outside of her mansion. The optics would be terrible.

But as I said, that's just how the situation stands today. What tomorrow may bring is unknown. When you give these Democrats an inch, they take a country mile. They got away with banning natural gas in new construction projects. If that rule holds up under appeal, they will be eyeing their next steps eagerly. So if the day comes when the grilling ban falls upon us and my posts suddenly stop showing up here, you'll know what's up. I'll be in jail. Hopefully, my wife will post a link to a bail fund on social media. After seeing what they're doing to Trump in New York City, they'll probably try to charge me a million dollars to get my grill back.

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