Food & Nutrition

The Simple Way to Make Sure You Have Enough Gas to Grill

Those numbers stamped on your propane tank are going to come in handy!

HH propane tank bathroom scaleFamily Handyman

If your grill uses a propane tank, it’s important to make sure the tank contains enough gas to grill. If that sounds easier said than done—especially if your tank is large and heavy—luckily, it’s not! There’s an easy way to figure out how much propane you have—which is good, because taking a wild guess as to whether you have enough propane is definitely one of the most common grilling mistakes.

Use a bathroom scale

All propane tanks have two weights stamped onto the collar.  One represents the tank’s empty weight (Tare Weight). The other represents its full weight (Water Capacity). A full five-gallon propane tank weighs about 37 pounds.

To figure out how full your propane tank is, weigh the tank on a bathroom scale and subtract the tare weight. For example, if a tank weighs 20.6 pounds and the tare weight stamped on the collar is 17 pounds, 20.6 – 17 = 3.6 pounds of propane. (20 pounds is considered maximum regulation full.) At a rough estimate, a pound of propane lasts about an hour. In the example, 3.6 pounds is 18 percent full (3.6 ÷ 20 = .18).  Now that you know you have enough gas left to grill, it’s time to start up your BBQ!

Whether you’re looking for a cost-effective option for grilling, trying to branch out with your grilling techniques, or just want to compare options, here are the different grill fuels available today and what makes them unique.

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