How do Propane Grills Work?

Introduction

Nothing beats a family barbeque on a hot summer’s day. A gas grill is the perfect outdoor tool for preparing meals outside in the fresh air. Whether you are preparing something quick such as burgers or a little more intricate such as steak or chicken, a gas grill will always give impressive results. Fast, even heat is generated safely for both the griller in charge and the environment through its use of clean, natural gases which are the source of fuel for the heat generated.

A gas grill works faster and cleaner than any other fuel sources, and what makes it great as a tool for outdoor cooking is that it is easy to use and easy to refill for next time. A gas grill uses natural gas or propane gas as the source of fuel for the fire, since these fuels burn cleaner than wood, which is used in other grills. For our full guide on propane grills – click here.

Propane gas is environmentally cleaner than the carbon dioxide and carcinogens emitted during the burning of fuel sources like wood or paper. A gas grill uses its fuel to create an even heating source to heat foods. The grill is easily supplied with gas via refillable gas tanks that can be attached and removed from use at anytime.

How many Years do Propane Grills last For?

Gas grills that are exposed to high heat over an extended period of time will eventually need some replacement parts. High quality type grills have shields over the burners, which will at some point break down, and need to be replaced. More expensive gas grill brands will more than likely be manufactured from more robust materials than a cheaper brand. The cheaper the material, the faster and easier it will break down.

The electric starters will eventually need to be replaced. In cheaper grills the frame will rust out over time and if the burners are not stainless steel they will need to be replaced more often. How you look after your gas grill will also play a huge role in how long it will last. If you leave it out in the rain and wind, you can expect even the most expensive of grills to deteriorate quite quickly.

Left over fat and grease can cause dust and dirt to stick to your grills components causing them to wear down. Keep your gas grill stored in a clean and dry area such as your patio or garage. Most gas grills do come with an additional cover to keep your grill clean and dirt free.

Can Propane Grills be Converted to Natural Gas?

Many outdoor grill owners are making the decision to convert their gas grills to natural gas. Unfortunately, you cannot just run out and buy a few fittings and simply attach them to the natural gas line. Liquid propane gas burns much hotter than natural gas and that is why the valves and fittings are designed for a lower gas flow than a natural gas grill. When a liquid propane grill is not correctly connected to natural gas, the flames will be very small and the grill will not heat up properly.

Can Propane Grills be converted to Natural Gas

In order to safely convert a liquid propane grill, the fittings need to be changed, as well as the attachment hose and regulator. The safest way to convert a liquid propane grill to natural gas is with a conversion kit supplied by the manufacturer. Some liquid propane grills come with the necessary fittings needed to prepare the grill for use with natural gas. Some grills have flex valves that allow the grill to be used with natural gas when the liquid propane fittings are removed from the main burner valves.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when considering changing to natural gas or vice versa. Gas can easily leak from an ill fitting valve with dangerous implications. Always keep your refillable gas canisters at a safe distance from your home, and have them checked regularly by a professional.

Do Propane Grills work in the Cold?

The liquid propane volume in any LP Gas container is directly related to its temperature. In fact, the volume of any liquid in any container is directly related to its temperature. Propane volume rises as temperature rises and falls as temperature falls. Being temperature dependent, propane becomes dense as the temperature falls, and expands as temperature increases. When propane tanks freeze up, usually it is a sign that the regulator is feeding the propane too fast, or there is a high level of humidity.

It is not dangerous although it can leave you without propane until the tank thaws out. The colder it is outside, the lower the pressure will be in your tank; conversely, the higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. Always keep your tank full in colder weather and aim to top it up when it is at 20 to 25% capacity. Never try to cover up your tank, as this will only insulate the propane inside the tank from the natural heat of the daytime sun, worsening the problem in the end.

Always keep the tanks regulator at the building free of ice and snow, and never pour water over it. This might cause the material to crack suddenly, allowing gas to escape unnoticed. For the same reason, among a few obvious others – never use an open flame or electrical device anywhere near a propane tank.

Conclusion

Gas grills are a great way to bring the family together for a good old Saturday afternoon barbeque. Unlike charcoal or wood grills, these grills work with gas and therefore need to be treated differently than your usual grill. Consult you manufacturers manual to ensure that you are operating your propane gas grill in the correct manner to avoid turning your barbeque into a trip to the E.R!

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