Propane gas grilling

Propane Grills and Gas Grilling

Propane gas grills are undoubtedly one of the most popular outdoor appliances used today. Gas grills are replacing charcoal grills in increasing numbers because of their ease of use without the clean-up involved with charcoal grills. LP Gas grills commonly use a portable propane bottle that can easily be re-filled or exchanged for continued enjoyment without the hassle of loading more charcoal and stirring up the ashes. Operating a grill safely will ensure that the food is prepared properly and the grill user is safe from harm. This page is not intended to take the place of your grill manufacturers documentation.

Not paying attention to the food being grilled may result in overcooked or burned food but not paying attention to proper and safe grilling practices may result in burned people!

Propane Grill Assembly and Construction

Converting from charcoal grilling to gas grilling can be a big step for some backyard barbeque experts who have trusted charcoal for many years and even sworn by their chosen method. They never thought the day would come when grilling with gas would seem more appealing but they made the switch to a propane grill for whatever reason. Propane grills can be either the portable type or they can be built-in, such as in an outdoor kitchen. In either case, the gas grill assembly or construction is one of the most important aspects of propane grill safety. Gas grills purchased through a retailer often come unassembled and it is extremely important to follow all manufacturers instructions when putting the grill together. Stores that sell grills will usually give buyers the option of having the grill assembled for pick-up at a later time and for first time propane grill users, this is usually the best option. But if you choose to do it yourself, follow all instructions precisely without taking any shortcuts. If you run into problems contact the grill manufacturer but don't try to implement any "homegrown engineering" as you may wind up hurting yourself or damaging your property. Grill manufacturers have support lines to help you assemble and use your grill safely if you have any questions. Make sure to read and follow the directions when assembling your new propane grill and contact the gas grill manufacturer about any uncertainty, problems or concerns.

Built in grills and outdoor living areas are increasing in popularity as well with people choosing "outdoor rooms" for entertainment and leisurely family time. While most built-in grills are installed by professionals and contractors, some are installed by homeowners. The cabinets where cylinders are stored should be ventilated to avoid a build-up of propane vapor in the cylinder storage cabinet. Built-in grills are housed in and surrounded by non-flammable materials such as rock or stone and although the materials are not combustible, the ventilation should be ample for propane to escape if needed. The underlying reasoning behind ventilation for built in grills is this: The area underneath the grill is often hollow and is used as cabinet space which commonly houses the propane supply cylinder. If for some reason, the grill does not light and propane is escaping through the burners without

Grilling Safely With Propane

Propane gas grilling, like all applications using LP Gas bottles is an outdoor activity and is not something to enjoy indoors and although some people choose to use grills in their garage, this is not advisable. The ideal location for grilling is outdoors in a well ventilated area such as a patio, driveway or similar non-combustible surface open to fresh air and away from a building. Three basic stages of safe propane grilling include lighting the grill, cooking (grilling) and the shutdown process. Each stage of safe LP Gas grilling are outlined below. Remember to follow the grill manufacturers instructions when using gas grills, cookers or any propane appliance.

Lighting Propane Grills - The act of lighting a propane gas grill is very straightforward and simple but it does need to be routine each time the grill is to be used. Whether the grill is equipped with an automatic ignition or if the user lights the grill manually, the following steps should be taken to ensure there is no flash fire or explosive ignition of collected propane vapors. Always refer to the manufacturers instructions when before using your grill. The manufacturers instructions always supercede anything written here or anywhere else.

  1. Make sure that the burner control knobs are closed in the "off" position.
  2. Open the grill lid (cover) prior to anything else. This ensures that no gas vapors are released into a closed space once the flow of gas starts. Keeping the grill cover open allows any breeze to vent propane gas vapors to the atmosphere.
  3. Open the propane cylinder valve slowly to start the flow of gas. Do not open the burner knobs before opening the service valve on the propane bottle.
  4. Start the ignition source and open the burner knobs closest to the ignition source. In other words, if the ignition is on the left side of the grill, don't start the ignition with only the far right burner open. At the same time, if lighting the grill manually, keep the flame next to the burner producing the flow of gas.
  5. Open the remaining burners in sequence starting with burners closest to the burner that is already lit. Now you're ready to grill with gas.

Propane Gas Grilling - Propane grilling usually involves one person that is charged with not burning the meat but the "grill master" also is responsible for keeping the propane grill operating in a safe manner while cooking. After the grill has been started and the burners are operating the lid can be closed. It's a good idea to let the grill heat up before putting anything on it for obvious reasons but it also helps burn off any residual grease from previous grill use. Grilling fatty foods can cause flare-ups during cooking so staying close to the grill is a good idea in case a flare-up occurs. This also helps minimize the chance of burning your food! Other tips for safe LP Gas grilling include:

  • Keep children and pets away from the grill while cooking out.
  • Secure the cylinder to minimize the chance of it accidentally tipping over.
  • Cylinders with frost or condensation on the side indicate the liquid propane level. This is normal.

Shutting the Propane Grill Down - After the grilling is done and the food is ready for serving, it's a good idea to leave the grill on for a short period of time to burn off any left-over meat or grease. This also helps keep the burner openings clear for future grilling. But make sure you set a timer so you don't forget to shut the propane off. When shutting the grill down, it's a good idea to close the cylinder service valve before turning the burner grill knobs to the off position. This ensures there is no gas between the cylinder and the burners when the grill is not in use. Allow the grill to cool adequately before anything over or on it, such as a protective cover.