There are two types of gas grills: those using natural gas and those using liquid propane (LP) gas. Most grills fall in the latter category since propane is readily available and uses a portable tank, unlike natural gas, which needs one to connect a pipe to the gas main in a home.
Propane is generally easier to store than natural gas, making it a suitable choice for many people.
A 500sq inch grill will use approximately 1 ½ pounds of fuel per hour when you cook on medium to high heat. A Medium sized grill on high heat will use 2 pounds of fuel per meal. Most grills use a 20 lb propane tank that will last 18-20 hours of cooking time.
How Much Propane Does A Gas Grill Use
Most gas grills use a 20 lbs tank for cooking individual meals. As mentioned earlier, this tank size will last 18-20 hours if you use a medium-sized grill.
But if using large grills, they won’t last long as these types tend to burn more fuel. So you can expect your propane tank to offer about 20 hours of service.
Averagely, you’ll use between one to two pounds of propane fuel per meal if grilling under high heat on a medium-sized grill. So, this can be equated to around 8 grilling sessions per tank.
Now that we are talking about fuel use in gas grills, we also should mention BTUs. These are simply the measurement of the energy output a grill gives.
They represent the amount of thermal energy a grill needs to raise the temperature of 1 water pound by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
You should know the BTUs your gas grill needs as it will also impact how long your fuel lasts.
So, how many BTUs does a grill need? The standard industry range is between 75 and 100 BTUs per square inch of your heating surface.
When buying a grill, you need to pay attention to the construction, cooking area, and whether the model can provide even heating on the cooking surface.
Grills that use lower BTUs per square inch can operate in low temperatures meaning they take longer to cook, which means more fuel.
Ideally, you need to look for a grill using between 80-100 BTUs per square inch of the cooking surface.
This will provide a fast cooking time and less fuel without affecting your food. However, a grill operating about 100 BTUs per square offers less cooking time, but this risks burning your food.
How Much Propane Does A Grill Use Per Hour
Generally, a 500sq inches grill will use approximately 1 ½ propane pounds per hour when you cook in medium to high heat.
Please note it is essential to determine how much propane you have in your tank before you start using it to avoid inconveniences while using.
If you have a 500-gallon propane tank, it should take 14 months or 23 months, depending on how you use it.
Of course, the size of your home and how frequent you use your grill will influence the lifespan of the propane.
Now, once you know the approximate time your tank should take, you can make decisions about refilling it earlier to avoid being surprised.
How Much Propane Does A Weber Grill Use
According to the Weber website, a standard 20 lbs propane tank should last for 18-2 hours on most of their grills.
So it means that it uses an average fuel of one to two pounds per hour. But if using a 14 or 16-ounce disposable propane tank, expect it to last about 1.5 to 2 hours.
As always, it’s a good practice to regularly check how much propane you have in your tank to avoid running out in the middle of your grilling.
Thankfully, you can do that in several ways. But the most important thing is to keep checking your gauge. The market has several types of fuel gauges that are easily accessible.
You can purchase the inline pressure gauge, which you install between the grill gas line and the cut-off valve on the propane tank.
This kind works on pressure to give a reading alerting the user whether their tank is full or empty.
Alternatively, you can opt for analog propane scales, which hook through the tank’s handle and read the remaining gas level.
Digital propane tank scales are also available, which constantly weigh the tank and give a digital readout of how much cook time you have and the gas fill percentage.
These gauges are sold between $10-$50 and are helpful if you grill often.
How Much Propane Does A Flat Top Grill Use
Flat top grills may use more fuel because their cooking surface is large. If using a 20 lbs propane tank, you can expect your grill to serve you for approximately 7 hours.
Remember that the standard 20 lbs propane tank holds about 4.73 gallons of propane, equivalent to 430,270 BTU.
So, how much propane your flat top grill uses will depend on its BTU.
For instance, if using a Blackstone griddle with all burners high, the propane tank won’t last long since this model uses 60,000 BTUs.
We should also mention that propane exchange tanks are filled to about 15 lbs, so they take less time.
How Long Does A Full Tank Of Propane Last For A Grill
Now, there are two ways to answer this question. Usually, when individuals ask this question, they have two interpretations in mind.
Some only want to know how long propane is suitable for, while others want to know how long the fuel in their propane tanks will last. So to clear the air, we will answer in both ways.
If you have a propane tank, whether a 20 lbs or 1000-gallon tank, it’s normal to wonder whether the fuel will expire.
The good news is that propane never goes bad, meaning you can store it for as much as 100 years, and it will still be in good condition. But will it last this long? Probably not if you are using it to grill.
The fuel consumption depends on the grill size. Plus, when calculating how long a propane tank will last, we need to consider the BTU content of propane and the BTU generation of the grill.
For example, a 20 lbs propane tank has approximately 4.25 gallons of propane with 430,588 BTU energy. Let’s say you are using a small grill generating 30,000BTU per hour.
So to calculate how long the propane will last, we need to know how much BTU of energy each gallon of propane generates, which is 91,500 BTU for 1 gallon.
We also should keep in mind that 1 propane gallon equals 4.2 lbs of propane. So, with these numbers, we need to find out the gallons of propane in a 20 lbs tank.
Let’s do that in these simple steps;
- Step 1: 20 lbs divided by 4.25 lbs, which is 4.73 gallons of propane.
- Step 2: here, we calculate the BTU content of the 20 lbs tank. So we multiply the gallon with the BTU. That is 4.73 x 91,500 BTU per gallon= 432,795 BTU
- Step 3: Now we know that a 20 lbs tank contains approximately 432,795 BTU of energy, and a small grill uses 30,000 BTU of energy per hour. So we need to divide the BTU content by the BTU consumption. So we tank 432, 795/30,000, and we get 14.42 hours.
So this means that if you use a small grill on a 20 lbs tank, you can expect it to last for around 14 hours and some minutes.
How Long Does A 16 Oz Propane Tank Last On A Grill
A disposable 16-ounce tank will last about 1.5-2 hours. However, please remember that this time depends on the size of your grill and how much cooking you do.
How Long Does A 15 Lbs Propane Tank Last On A Gas Grill
If using a medium-sized grill, expect your 15 lbs tank to last between 18-20 hours. But if using a large grill, the time is reduced to as little as 10 hours.
How Long Does A 20 Lbs Propane Tank Last On A Grill
A 20 lbs tank takes the same average time as a 15 lbs propane tank. But keep in mind that it may be more or less depending on the BTU of your grill.
Helpful Tips To Know About How Much Propane A Gas Grill Uses
If you are using propane to heat your grill, various tips can help you get the most out of this fuel type. These include:
- Regularly check the propane level in your tank to avoid inconveniences
- Always have a spare propane tank on standby in case you run out of gas
- Inspect your tank for leaks and other damages frequently
Understanding how long and how quickly you use up your propane tank is crucial. This way, you can make decisions about refilling or exchanging in advance.
The last thing you want is your gas to run out in the middle of grilling. We hope this guide helped you answer how long the propane tank lasts.