How to Use a Gas Grill

Got a new propane gas grill? Start with this guide. From set-up to grilling techniques, and cleaning to best accessories, learn how to use a gas grill today.

propane gas grill 6 burner control temperature knobs

The best gas grills offer users a quick and easy way to get involved with backyard grilling and are powerful enough to produce outstanding heat. Follow these best practices to ensure that you get the most out of your backyard barbecue cooker.

How to hook up the grill to a propane tank

First things first, You will need a grill to gas connection and a propane tank. Make sure to follow all the necessary safety tips. Dealing with gas can be a tricky business, and as such, you want to make sure that everything is in place before you make the necessary connections. 

If you are replacing a propane tank you had been using before, then tighten the valve on the tank and make sure that it is properly closed before you unscrew the hose. Then remove the empty tank. The next step will be to tear the seal off of the new tank. Remember that tanks may vary, and as such, you will need to follow those specific instructions. 

The next thing to do will be to connect the grill’s gas hose to the propane gas tank. Make sure to secure the hose onto the tank properly and then tighten the knob by hand. Now you can turn the propane tank valve on by opening it. This is particularly useful if you will be replacing a tank that is out. Suppose it is a new tank. The process only differs in that you will be attaching a new hose without disconnecting an already connected one.

How to ignite the grill

Before you start the grill, you will need to make sure that you have your fuel already going, and in the case of a gas grill, that would be to ensure that the gas is turned on, with all the safety precautions followed. Ensure the gas is flowing through the pipes, so you can do this by giving it a couple of seconds. Then make sure to open the gas grill lid. 

Then turn the burners on by twisting the knob to the “light” position and press the automatic ignition. If this does not work, you can find a place to put your light stick through, usually at the side of the grill. Turn your gas knob onto the highest setting and then light the fire starter. The flame will ignite because of the gas being released. 

It is important to preheat the grill and ensure that the grill is nice and toasty before you cook. Preheating the grill helps you avoid food sticking to the grill and helps avoid unsightly grill marks on the food made by the grates as they heat up. It is advisable to make sure that you preheat the grill on the highest setting for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

How to adjust grill burners

Grill burners will not always burn at the right heat, and in some cases, you may need to adjust them. The first thing to do will be to find the air that connects to the burner. It should have an air adjustment that allows you to mix air and gas. On the barrel type, this adjuster will be at the end of the barrel. You will make the adjuster on the triangle-shaped ones by moving the plate slightly after loosening the screw. Then loosen the air shutter screw that is found near the burner. 

Open the shutter by turning it anticlockwise. As you do this, you are adding air. This will, in turn, fan the flames and cause them to burn higher, thereby adjusting the heat. If you close the air intake, you reduce the flame and heat that the burners will produce. On the triangle type, loosen the screw slightly, just so the plate can move, but don’t remove the screw. Shifting this plate will either increase or decrease the air and thereby adjust burner heat.

Safety

Safety always needs to take center stage when you deal with gas. It can be volatile and dangerous if not handled with care. Read the manual that comes with your grill, or look it up online. Most manufactures will have a manual online. This will help you know how you ought to connect the grill and how to stay safe.

While you don’t try to have accidents or start a fire other than to cook with, these things happen. Make sure always to have a serviced fire extinguisher close to the grill whenever you cook. This is so that you can quickly extinguish any fires. 

Make sure to place your grill in a safe place. Open spaces are ideal. You can also put the grill in a space about 10 feet away from buildings, vegetation, or any potential fire hazard. In the event of a grill flare-up, you want to make sure that nothing will encourage the fire to spread. 

Also, try by all means to avoid grill flare-ups. You can do this by making sure to keep your grill clean. Excess fat drippings can be a major cause of grill flare-ups. Also, take time to ensure that your food doesn’t have excess marinade or fat that can drip on the grill and cause issues. 

Cleaning

While cleaning your grill may seem like a chore, you will not need to put in too much elbow grease to get it clean if you do it often enough. When dirt piles up, it can be more than just unpleasant to look at. It can also be dangerous, as it could cause flare-ups. If you can, clean the grill, lid, and grates after every cook. This way, you avoid build-up. 

To clean the grill, turn it on so that the fat and juices stuck on it loosen up. Fire it up at high temperatures, with the lid closed. Make sure to wait about thirty minutes so that if there is any food stuck on the grill, it loosens up enough to clean it off easier. Use a strong wire brush to clean the grill. Dip it into warm water and soap and scrub the grill. Then turn the grill off and let it cool down. 

The other option would be to remove the grates and any other parts that can be removed and soak them in warm soapy water. Then vacuum the cooking chamber to pick up any loose bits.

Learn how to use indirect heat

Sometimes it is necessary to cook food over indirect heat. This means the heat is in the vicinity, but there aren’t any direct flames hitting the food. Instead, food gets cooked using convection heating. It’s a great way to cook the food at two different temperatures. Indirect cooking will help you control your cooking temperature. 

When you cook food over direct heat throughout, there is a high chance that it will turn out tough and burn. This happens as the protein in the meat shrinks and squeezes out all the juices rapidly. This will happen when you keep meat on direct heat. Indirect heat is handy, especially in smoking. Moving the meat to indirect heat allows you to cook it low and slow and also maximize flavor. 

If you are cooking food with excess marinade or sugar, or if you think it may burn before you are done cooking the inside, then you want to use indirect heat, also known as two-zone cooking. 

Add-ons

Smoker box for gas grill

An add-on smoker box is a great way to allow you to have the best of both worlds. You can have a grill and a smoker all in one. This way, you will not need to have a smoker box mounted on the grill grates. Add on smoker boxes, allow you to convert your regular grill. 

Pizza stones

This will help you cook pizza on a gas grill better. This will help you cook better-tasting pizza more evenly. Having this add-on enhances your chef’s skills. Having a gas grill pizza stone means that you will not need to look for an oven to cook your pizza. It will also give you a unique flavor that lacks in oven-baked pizza. 

Cast iron skillets

A cast-iron skillet will help you get a more even cook. This can be an issue, especially with gas grills. Cast iron has a way of absorbing heat and cooking food in the skillet more evenly. This is why it is a great gas grill accessory. It also gives you more control over the temperature allowing you to cook differently.

Propane tank gauge

Running out of gas as you cook is one of the inconveniences that you do not want. To avoid surprises, getting a propane tank gauge will keep you in the loop. You get to know how much gas you have left and if it will last for the cook’s duration. This also gives you time to line up another tank in time not to have the grill switching off on you. 

How to shut down a gas grill

As we have mentioned that safety needs to take the front seat when you deal with gas grills. It does not only apply when you turn the gas on but also when you turn it off. When you are done cooking, the next thing would be to clean the grill and then turn off the gas. Turn the gas knobs off entirely.

Ensure that each burner is turned off, and there is no chance of even the smallest flames staying on. You will hear a sound that tells you that the gas has stopped flowing through the tubes to the burners. At this point, you will also notice the flames dying down and eventually extinguishing. 

Once the burners are off entirely, you can then turn off the valves on the gas tank. It is important to make sure that the heat source is shut down. In this case, it’s a propane gas tank. You want to cut off any chance of the gas traveling through to the burners when you are not using the grill. 

Turning the knobs off on the burners alone is not enough. Once the burners and valves are turned off, allow the grill to cool down, and then you can cover it with the grill cover. The cover helps protect the grill when it is not in use. 

Don’ts

There are certain precautions that you will need to take to ensure the efficiency of your gas grill. The materials you use for your cookware need to withstand the heat so that they don’t crack under pressure. Glassware doesn’t fall in this category. Don’t use glassware in your grill. 

The second doesn’t involve lifting the lid. As curious as you might get about what is going on under the hood, you only do more harm and prolong the process when you constantly open the lid. This lets heat escape and also, in turn, brings down the temperature of the fos. When you close it, that heat needs to start heating up again. Keep the temperatures constant by keeping the lid closed. You can make sure the food is on track using internal meat probes rather than visual inspection ( which is hardly ever accurate anyway). 

Also, it is important to make sure that you do not use the grill indoors. Anything that is a fire hazard needs to be kept well out of the way. So ensure that the grill is placed in a safe area. It is not safe to do it indoors. Some ceilings and furnishings could easily catch fire. 

Another thing that you should not do is leaving the gas tank valve open even when you are not cooking. The obvious reason for not doing this is because it’s a safety concern. However, there’s another reason. When gas is left open, it can create a bypass. This is the state when the grill cannot reach its maximum and most efficient temperatures. A grill that is in bypass will normally not go above 300˚F. Don’t leave the valve open, regardless of how convenient it seems. 


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