It’s summertime, which means grilling season is in full swing. If you use a propane grill, you might wonder how long your tank will last. After all, no one wants to run out of gas while cooking dinner.
So, how many hours of grilling are in a propane tank? It depends on a few factors, including the size of your grill and the heat setting, but on average, you can expect to get about 20 to 40 hours of grilling time from a standard 20-lb propane tank.
Of course, your mileage may vary. If you use a larger grill or cook at higher temperatures, you will likely use your propane a bit faster. Using your grill for other purposes, like running a smoker or fryer, will also affect how long your tank lasts.
In any case, it’s always a good idea to have a spare tank on hand, just in case. That way, you can keep the grilling going all summer long!
Let’s take a look at the ways how to measure the propane level in a tank:
The Warm Water Trick
The warm water trick is a simple way to determine how much propane is left in your tank mid-grilling. Here’s what you need to do:
- Fill a bucket with warm water and pour it on the side of the tank
- Immediately run your hand on the wet side
- When your fingers touch a cold spot, you will know how low the propane level is
Weigh Your BBQ Propane Tank
Another way to check how much propane is left in your tank is by weighing it. A full 20-lb propane tank should weigh about 37 pounds. So, if your tank weighs less, you know it’s time to refill.
You can also use this method to estimate your remaining grilling time. For example, if your tank weighs 30 pounds, that’s about 3/4 full. You can expect 15 to 20 hours of grilling time from it.
A grill-mounted gauge is the best and easiest way to gauge your propane level. Most propane grills come with one of these, and they are typically very accurate. So, if your gauge says you are running low, it’s time to refuel.
When to Refill Your Propane Tank
Generally, you should try to keep your propane tank at least half full. That way, you will always have enough fuel for cooking, and you won’t have to worry about running out.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, specially if you use your grill often. If your tank does run dry, don’t panic. Head to your local gas station or home improvement store and pick up a new one.
Most places will exchange your empty tank for a full one, so you don’t have to worry about buying a new one outright. Once you’ve got your new tank, you can get back to grilling in no time!
Finding the Right Temperature
As the warm water trick demonstrates, the temperature can significantly impact how much propane is in your tank. The ideal storage temperature for a propane tank is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gas can condense and become trapped in the tank if it’s too cold. Conversely, the gas can expand and escape from the tank if it’s too hot. So, if you live in a particularly cold or hot climate, you might want to store your propane tank indoors to help keep it at a consistent temperature.
When it comes to grilling, the best temperature is quite different. You will want to aim for a temperature between 400 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal grilling performance.
If it’s too cold, your food will take longer to cook. If it’s too hot, you risk burning your food. So, find that happy medium, and your grilling will be sure to impress!
Extra Grilling Time
If you are running low on propane, a simple trick can help you get a few more hours of grilling time. Just fill a bucket with warm water, and place your propane tank in it for about 15 minutes.
This trick will help release any residual gas trapped in the tank, giving you more fuel for use. Of course, this trick won’t work miracles, but it can buy you a little extra grilling time in a pinch.
How Your Grill’s BTUs Affect Propane Use
Your grill’s BTUs (or British Thermal Units) will also impact propane consumption. A higher BTU rating means your grill will use more propane, while a lower rating means less propane consumption.
So, if you constantly run out of propane, it might be time to upgrade to a grill with a lower BTU rating. Conversely, if you have a lot of propane left over after grilling, you might be able to save some money by switching to a higher-BTU model.
Of course, other factors affect propane consumption, like the food you cook, so it’s not an exact science. However, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to save money or extend your grilling time.
How to Prolong Your Propane Tank’s Lifespan
While propane tanks are designed to last for years, there are a few things you can do to help prolong their lifespan.
- First, try to keep your tank out of direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can break down the metal and cause it to degrade faster.
- Second, don’t store your propane tank near any source of heat. The heat can cause the tank to expand and potentially rupture.
- Finally, make sure the tank is always securely closed when not in use. This precaution will help prevent leaks, which can be dangerous and damaging to your propane tank.
Now that you know how many hours of grilling are in a propane tank, it’s time to get out there and start cooking! Just keep an eye on your propane levels and top off your tank when necessary. Knowing how your grill’s BTUs affect propane consumption can ensure you use your propane as efficiently as possible. With some planning, you can ensure your next cookout is a success!
So fire up the grill and enjoy!