How To Start a Gas Grill: Simple Steps for Beginners

When it comes to grills, charcoal ones are the most common ones. But, many might think that charcoal grills are difficult to use. Many do not prefer the smoky flavors in their food, and some avoid the woody emissions that these grills give out. All these reasons are why many prefer gas grills over charcoal grills. Gas grills are easier to use and are less hefty. They are great for small spaces and small barbeque and grilling sessions. Using a grill can take some getting used to. They are tricky for many. Eventually, it is all about practice and knowing the techniques. Here is guide that will help one understand the gas grill functioning and how to start a gas grill.

Gas grills can take some time to get used to. But once a person is proficient in using a gas grill, it becomes easy and hassle-free.

There are two ways to start a gas grill. Some people prefer the manual starting, and some like starting the grill automatically. So depending on what ignition process is easy for the buyer, they can go for that model. The best thing is that today, there are both manual ignition models and automatic ones in abundance in the market.

All one needs to do is pick the model to suit their grilling needs, size, efficiency, performance, and budget.

Starting a Grill Manually

For those who want to try something a little bit more down the alley of being a true BBQ person, manual grills are the right choice. Manual grills are, however, and a little bit trickier to work with. Therefore, starting a manual grill can take some practice, precision, and patience.

Here is a detailed guide on how to start gas grills manually:

1. Open the lid: First, one needs to open the grill's lid and wait for a few minutes. Gas grills with closed lid is a fire and explosion hazard. There can be a micro leak of gas inside the closed lid. It can lead to an explosion if one does not remove the gas from the chamber.

2. Connect the gas: The second step is to connect the gas. Most of the time, the gas grills connect with propane gas tanks. Now, connecting gas tanks to the grills can take some practice. One needs to make sure that the connection is perfect and not faulty to avoid any accidents. Read the manual and see videos to know how to connect the gas pipe with the grill.

3. Locate the lighting hole: Now, after the gas line is connected, it is time to locate the lighting hole. Usually, this hole will be on the side of the grill. Reach out to the manual and check the exact hole to be used for lighting the burners.

4. Curved lighting holder: Now, the next step is to use the lighting holder to light the burner. A curved holder is a lighting tool that one will get along with the gas grill when bought. But, if one does not have one, it is better to buy the holder. The holder is helpful for the lighting burner, as the lighting hole is usually narrow. Reaching into the hole and igniting the burner is not easy with a simple matchstick. Also, using the holder will make sure one's hand is away from the burner and increase safety.

5. Igniting the grill: Now, the last step is to ignite the grill. Light the curved lighting holder. Now, turn on one of the burners. Wait for a few seconds. And, then slowly light the burner using the holder by putting it in the lighting hole. After, one of the burners is ignited. Slowly, switch on the other burner by turning the knobs. The burning burner will cross ignite the others.

Starting a Grill Automatically

Those who like to have automatic appliances should go for the automatic gas grills (read our built-in grills review). Automatic grills are a slight bit easier to handle than manual ones. But, one should have some practice on how to start a gas grill automatically. So, it is better to have some patience and go through some manuals before jumping right into it.

Here are the steps that one needs to follow:

1. Open the lid and connect the gas: The first two steps of using the automatic gas grill are very similar to manual gas grills. In an automatic gas grill, one should open the lid first. It will let the grill get aerated for 5-10 minutes. It will ensure no trapped gas inside the lip, and there is no explosion risk.

Also, one will have to connect the gas line to the grill. It should be done after going through the manual thoroughly. One can also get the line connected by a professional if it is the first time to avoid anything going wrong.

2. Turn the gas ON: After the gas is connected properly with the grill inlet. Now is the time to tune the gas ON. One should connect the gas connection before tuning the knob that ON the gas connection. The knob will rotate either anti-clockwise or clockwise. Read the manual to have a clear picture. One should turn the grill ignition on only after the gas is connected and turned on for at least 5-10 seconds.

3. Turn the ignition ON: After the gas supply connection is turned on, the gas line has propane gas in it after wafting for a few seconds. Turn or push the ignition knob on as mentioned in the grill manual. The panel is usually in the front of the grill. Turning the ignition will light up the burner. In some, each burner will have a separate button, and some have one single knob. Also, one should read the manual carefully to know if the gas knob and ignition knob are the same or separately placed.

Things To Consider

When using a propane gas grill, it is crucial to check the grill and the gas tank from time to time. Anything that is being used for a long time will undergo wear and tear of some kind. So it is better to keep an eye on the older parts and make sure things are working fine.

Here are a few things that one should consider if they are working with an old gas grill:

  • Burners: One should keep a check on the burners as they can get damaged over time. If the burners get damaged, then they may not get ignited even after turning the ignition on. It is easy to replace burners as one can get them in stores.
  • Gas line: The pipe that connects the grill with the gas tank should be checked thoroughly. The faulty gas pipe is hazardous and prone to accidents. When the pipe is new, it tends to be elastic and soft. But, with time, it can become hard and rigid. If the pipe is old and hard, then it is better to change the pipe immediately.
  • Leaks: If one hears a hissing sound while the gas connection is turned on, it is better not to ignore it. Hissing sound means a leak, either at the valve, or the pipe, or the connector. One should turn off the grill immediately; switch off the gas connection, and do a 'leak check'. Then, one can take the grill to the professional to get it checked.
  • Frozen gas: If one lives in a place where the temperature during winters is extreme, it is better to defrost the gas tank. Propane in lower temperatures freezes, and this can lead to a slow burn. One can keep the gas valve on for 1-2 hours before starting the ignition to allow enough gas to pass through the pipe during winters.

How Long To Preheat the Grill?

When it comes to grills, heat is one of the crucial things. Whether one wants to barbeque the meat, get a nice char, or slow cook the meat, having the right temperature on the grill is very important.

While cooking a grill, one thing to keep in mind is that simply switching the gas on and igniting the burner is not enough. Right after switching on, the burner does not make the grill ready for cooking.

One needs to preheat the grill before cooking on it. The temperature of the grill should reach a certain level. When the burner is switched on, it starts slowly increasing the temperature of the grill. Larger grills mean the larger time it takes to heat the surface area. Also, preheating the grill will help in accumulating hot air inside the grill under the lid. Therefore, it helps in better cooking of all types of meat and vegetables.

Those who want a high temperature on the grill to give a charred taste to the meat can preheat the grill for 10-20 minutes in high heat. Also, if one wants to slow cook their meat, they can preheat the grill for 30 minutes on low heat. It will create a more well-spread heat on the grill for even cooking.

How Long Does a Propane Tank Last on a Grill?

There are very general questions asked by people owning a propane gas grill. Well, how long a propane tank will last depends on two factors. One; the size of the grill, and second; how long a grill is used.

Most of the grill owners prefer the portable propane tank that ranges in its capacity. The lowest capacity is 20lbs, and the highest is 100 lbs. If the size of the grill is small to medium, then in one hour is uses up to 1lb of propane gas. It means a small tank of 20 lbs will give a 20 hour running time. One can have at least 8-10 cooks in a single 20lbs gas tank. Larger grills, on the other hand, use up to 2lbs of gas in a single hour. It means a 20 lbs gas tank will last for 10 hours maximum. If one has a large grill, it is better to choose a larger gas tank so that there is less risk of finishing the gas amid a cook.

Learning how long a gas tank will last gives one a good idea of how often one will have to refill their gas tank. It also helps one be prepared before a get-together; after all, nobody wants the gas to finish while there is meat on the grill.

How To Keep the Grill Lit?

Keeping the grill lit is crucial if one wants to have grilled meat or vegetable. But many times, one may notice that, right after igniting the burner, the flames turn off after a few minutes. It could be frustrating if one were about the cook.

Well, there are can several reasons behind this issue, like:

  • Clogged burner: If the burner is clogged with grease, food, etc., the burner will not stay lit for long. One will have to remove the grates, grills plate and then clean the burner.
  • Faulty ignition line: Sometimes, the ignition line can be faulty. One will have to take it to the professionals to get the line checked.
  • Faulty igniter: This is an automatic ignition grill problem. If there is no blue spark in a burner on pressing the button, then the igniter is faulty, which needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Gas check: Check the gas line, the valve, and the tank itself. There could be a clog in the gas line, or maybe the tank is empty.

Above mentioned reasons are the most common when it comes to gas grills not staying lit. Solving these issues will help in keeping the grill lit for a longer time.

Gas grill burner adjustment

One of the major issues that one faces with gas grills is that it turns yellow as soon as the flame is ignited. A clean line, burner, and good gas supply will make sure that the flame is blue. But, if the flame is yellow, then there is an issue with the burner which needs to be fixed. Also, yellow flame means low heat which can make the cooking uneven. Also, yellow flames tend to deposit soot on the meat, which is not something one would want.

One of the ways to solve the problem is by adjusting the burner. Well, adjusting the burner does take some practice and, one can always reach out to a professional. However, if one wants to do it themselves, here are the steps to follow:

  •  Get under the grill table and reach out just behind the grill controls. It is where the grill is connected to the burner.
  • Read the manual and find the adjustment screw.
  • Now, loosening the screw will allow one to repeat the metal sleeve in the burner.
  • Loosen the screw, rotate the sleeve, tighten the screw and check the flame.
  • If yellow, then repeat the steps.
  • Keep going till the flame turns blue.

One should always do these steps when the burner is cool. Also, loosen the screw only when the grill is off.

How To Disconnect the Propane Tank From the Grill?

Whether one wants to shift the grill or refill the tank, removing the tank is vital. However, whenever one needs to do anything with gas tanks, it is better to be aware of the steps to keep everybody and oneself safe.

Here is the step by step method of unhooking the propane gas tank from the grill:

  • Turn the grill off before starting to disconnect the propane gas tank from the grill.
  • Locate the gas valve on the gas tank.
  • Now, turn the gas valve on the tank clockwise and shut it off. Recheck if the valve is off as a safety measure.
  • After this, turn the pressure regulator and unscrew it from the tank completely.
  • After the pressure regulator is removed, remove the tank from the grill.

When unhooking the gas tank, make sure that to take care of the safety measures. Also, one should take the tank to the refilling station in an upright position only. Also, keep in mind to keep it in a well-ventilated place. One can connect the gas tank back to the grill in the same procedure but in reverse. First, connect the pressure regulator and then turn on the gas valve.

Gas grills are quite an addition to the kitchen appliances. From open-air birthday parties to celebrate the weekend with friends, everything seems much more fun with a grilling station installed in the backyard. Grills are a great way to cook meals, but one should learn the basics before using them. As there is fire and gas involved, learning how to start a gas grill and how to maintain the same is crucial.

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