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“One thing people don’t consider so much is the sun direction,” she says, adding that facing the late afternoon or evening sun while grilling should be avoided.

Grill owners also should be careful to position the grill so the wind can’t blow on the back of it, potentially putting out the fire, Mr. Cunningham says.

“The placement of the grill on the patio is important,” he says. “Is it functional? Is it going to fit? You want the island [or patio] to be functional as well as fitted with the decor in your back yard.”