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Grilling with propane gas

If you’re looking for the best way to get cooking, look no further than a propane grill. These efficient, portable, easy-to-use grills are an excellent choice for everything from everyday family cookouts to tailgating events. To simplify your search, we’ll go over the benefits of these grills, how to use one and how to stay safe while using a propane grill.

What Is a Propane Grill?

A propane grill is an outdoor grill that uses liquid propane (LP) as its heat source. You’ll also see them appropriately called “LP grills.” While a natural gas grill needs to be hooked up to a natural gas line, propane grills are portable. All you need is a tank of LP. When propane is condensed, it becomes a liquid, making it easier to store than natural gas, which doesn’t compress easily.

Propane grills come in many styles and offer exceptional cooking performance. Whether you’re a barbecue enthusiast or a casual chef, propane grills are a convenient, affordable and efficient way to cook up your favorite dishes, like hotdogs, cheeseburgers and grilled vegetables.

Benefits of Propane Grills Over Other Types of Grills

When discussing grills, we usually compare propane to charcoal and natural gas. Natural gas grills and propane grills often have similar designs but support different fuel sources. Charcoal grills are an entirely different experience, using the heat generated from burning charcoal.

Propane offers many advantages over natural gas and charcoal, such as:

  • Energy efficiency: Propane burns twice as efficiently as natural gas, giving you more bang for your buck with every ounce purchased.
  • Low environmental impact: While no fuel source is perfect, propane is particularly eco-friendly. Propane is one of the cleanest fuels, emitting less carbon dioxide than many other common fuel sources. It may also have fewer impurities than natural gas. Charcoal grills burn carbon. Unsurprisingly, they won’t win on carbon emissions.
  • Health impacts: Charcoal and briquettes sometimes contain additives and chemicals that affect your food when they burn, but an LP grill offers a much cleaner experience.
  • Portability: Since propane gas grills don’t need a gas line, they’re highly portable. You can move one around your yard or take one to your tailgate celebration. This portability also allows you to stay independent from the grid, which can be useful if your home utilities stop working.
  • Convenience and speed: Charcoal grills can be finicky and labor-intensive. You must watch them continuously and spend a long time getting the grill started. Gas grills heat up quickly and offer even, predictable heating.
How to use a propane grill

How to Use a Propane Grill

Once you’re ready to start cooking, follow these steps to use a propane grill.

1. Connect Your Propane Tank

Set your propane tank next to the grill and make sure the knob is in the off position. Remove the safety cap by pulling on the tab. Connect the end of the grill hose to the valve. After it clicks into place, turn the knob on the hose as much as possible to tighten it.

2. Light the Grill

Always open the grill lid before lighting it to prevent gas from building up. Then, turn the knob on the propane tank to the on position and set your ignition burner knob to high. If the grill doesn’t ignite immediately, it likely has an electric starter. In this case, you’ll need to press and hold the ignition button to ignite the grill. It should make a few clicks before lighting the portion of the grill directly behind the ignition burner knob.

With the first section lit, you can turn the other grill knobs on. Start with the highest setting to preheat the grill. Close the lid and allow it to preheat for around 10 minutes.

3. Cook Your Food

Clean off your grates with an appropriate grill cleaning tool, then turn the grill knobs to a lower setting appropriate for the food you’re cooking. Place your items directly on the grates. Follow our cooking tips for propane grills to get the perfect finish on whatever you’re making.

After removing your food, turn off the grill knobs and leave the lid open. Turn off the propane tank by turning the knob as far as it goes in the off direction.

4. Keep Your Grill Maintained

Maintaining your grill is crucial for ongoing safety and performance. Perform maintenance whenever your grill goes unused for long periods of time or every 6-12 months. Many people go through grill maintenance before firing it up for the first summer barbecue of the season after it’s been sitting out all winter. You can read more about grill maintenance on our blog, but some general tasks include performing a visual inspection, cleaning the grill and checking for leaks or loose connections.

Propane Grilling Safety Tips

Grilling safety is essential for any outdoor chef. Here are some of our top propane grilling safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Be prepared: Always keep resources on hand to put out fires. You can control a grease fire with baking soda and other fires with a fire extinguisher. A bucket of sand can work in a pinch, but never use water for a grease fire.
  • Watch for leaks: Know how to spot a propane leak and what to do if one appears. Propane leaks can cause fires or explosions, so understanding the signs is essential.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing: Keep any loose shirts, sleeves or aprons tucked away so they don’t ignite.
  • Put your grill in the right spot: One of the most important parts of grill setup is choosing a good location. Keep it a safe distance from your home or other structures like garages, sheds and wooden decks. Never leave your grill unattended, especially around children and pets, and keep it on a stable surface.
  • If the flame goes out, wait to re-light: If your grill’s flame goes out, turn it and the propane off and wait about five minutes before re-lighting it.
  • Take care when tailgating: Propane grills are great for tailgating, but the crowded space and the act of moving the grill can create some hazards. Follow these tips for staying safe while tailgating with a propane grill.

Common Propane Grill FAQs

If you still have questions about your propane grill, check out these FAQs.

How Do You Clean a Propane Grill?

There are a few different aspects to cleaning a propane grill, like taking apart the components and using the right tools. Check out our guide to cleaning a propane grill for more information.

How Do You Check for a Propane Leak?

If you’re concerned about a propane leak, look closely at the hoses, tank and tank valve. Start by mixing up some soap and water and coating the hose with it. If you see bubbles forming, you have a leak. You can check your tank valve the same way. Other signs of a leak include a hissing sound when you turn on the tank, a smell like rotten eggs or performance issues with the grill.

How Do You Winterize a Propane Grill?

You can save yourself a lot of hassle by preparing your grill for the winter. Some of these steps include cleaning it thoroughly, adding some rust prevention, protecting the burner and storing your fuel properly. These actions can help you prevent pests from taking over, avoid corrosion and keep your propane tank in good shape.

How Can You See How Much Propane You Have Left?

You can usually measure the propane in your tank in one of three ways. The easiest is to buy a tank gauge that can tell you what’s left. You can also check it with a scale by weighing the tank and subtracting the standard tank weight of 18.5 pounds. Lastly, you can pour warm water over the tank and feel it. The part of the tank without fuel in it will be warmer to the touch when wet than areas with fuel.

Get propane for your grill