How Much Grilling In A Tank Of Propane

How Much Grilling In A Tank Of Propane

How Much Grilling In A Tank Of Propane? With these simple solutions, you’ll never run out of propane during a BBQ again. Summer is here, which means it’s time to dust off the grill, clean it well, throw some patties on it, and have your first outdoor barbeque of the year. However, how can you determine how much propane is left in the tank? Most propane tanks lack an indicator that indicates how much fuel is left in the tank. And you certainly don’t want to run out of something and have to stop cooking to go to the store. Fortunately, there are a couple of fast ways to check the propane tank before powering up the grill. This is how you do it.

With The Use Of Hot Water How Much Grilling In A Tank Of Propane

The “Fix It Home Improvement Channel” on YouTube has one of the easiest ways to estimate the fill level of a propane tank. All you’ll need is some hot water.

  • Fill a cup or a small bucket halfway with hot tap water.
  • Pour the water down the tank’s side.
  • Run your hand down the tank’s side, looking for a cool area.

The tank’s fill level is at the top of the cool spot. The liquid propane inside the tank absorbs the heat from the water, making the tank’s metal wall cold to the touch. However, the tank wall above the fill line will be hot to the touch. This is not an exact measurement of how much propane remains, but it is a good approximation. It’s more than enough to tell you whether or not you should go to the grocery before you start cooking.

How Much Grilling In A Tank Of Propane in Terms Of Weight

If you’ve been working with propane tanks for a while, merely lifting it will give you an idea of when it’s time to replenish it. However, you’ll need a scale to have a clearer understanding of how much gas is left.

All propane tanks have a few numbers imprinted on the handle, the most frequent of which are the WC (water capacity) and TW (tank weight when empty). When empty, most propane tanks for grilling weigh roughly 17 pounds and store around a pound of propane.

Weigh the tank and deduct the tare weight to determine how many pounds of propane are left. For example, if you weigh the tank and find that it weighs 27 pounds (12 kilograms) overall with a tare weight of 17 pounds (8 kilograms), you’ll find that you have 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of propane left — around half a tank.

Cooking Time

When estimating how long one gas tank will last, a little arithmetic goes a long way. To begin, remember that one gallon of propane (3.8 liters) produces around 92,000 BTUs. Divide that quantity by your grill’s BTUH (BTUs per hour) rating. This gives you the number of hours it will take to utilize one gallon of propane at the grill’s maximum temperature.

Finally, divide the number of hours by the tank’s capacity in gallons. 4.7 gallons (17.8 liters) of propane is held in a full 20-pound (9-kilogram) propane tank. If your grill has a 32,000 BTUH output, you’ll receive about 13.5 hours of cooking time on a regular propane tank if you cook at maximum heat. If you just use two of the four burners, you should expect the cooking time to be doubled.

The Benefits Of Putting Your Propane Tank Underground

  • You are in a condition that is prone to harsh weather, particularly deep cold. When the tank is underground, it is surrounded by earth, which helps to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • When it comes to potential damages such as propane leaks, underground propane tanks are safer because a gas leak would be contained better by the earth. Propane is non-toxic to both people and the environment, although flammable.
  • You’d want it to be hidden. You can use landscaping to surround an underground tank’s top, which houses the gauges and other controls. An underground tank may sometimes increase the value of a home.

Propane Tanks: Everything You Need To Know To Fill Propane Tank For Grill

  1. Full – For those new to propane, it’s worth noting that you will only fill any tank to roughly 80% capacity. As a result, a 100-gallon tank will only be 80 gallons full. This safety measure allows for the gas to expand as it warms. An overfill prevention mechanism is included with new tanks.
  2. Propane tank recertification – Any cylinder weighing less than 100 pounds must be recertified twelve years after being manufactured and then every five years after that.
  3. Local construction codes — You must set back underground tanks at least 10 feet from any road, building, or property line.
  4. Longer engine life — According to the US Department of Energy, “one reason for propane’s appeal for use in light- and medium-duty vehicles, such as trucks and taxis, and heavy-duty vehicles, such as school buses, is the potential for cheaper maintenance costs.” Propane’s low carbon and low oil pollution properties may help engines last longer.”
  5. Issues with cold starts – “Propane operates effectively in cold weather conditions because the fuel combination (propane and air) is entirely gaseous.” Because of this, propane-powered cars avoid many of the cold-start concerns that come with liquid fuels.”
  6. Alternative fuel – Propane is a vehicle fuel that you may use in place of gasoline.

Purchase A Gauge In A Tank Of Propane

When approximations won’t suffice, and accuracy is required, it’s time to invest in a gauge. Propane tank gauges are available in various styles, and you may acquire them at your local hardware shop.

  • Install inline pressure gauges between the grill’s gas line and the tank’s cut-off valve. These gauges function on the principle of pressure and provide a display that indicates whether the tank is full, low, or empty.
  • Analog propane scales function similarly to baggage scales, only they’re already calibrated for the tank’s weight. Pull the hook through the tank’s handle, take up the tank, and check the remaining gas level.
  • Digital propane tank scales continually weigh the tank and display a digital readout of remaining cook time and percentage of gas fill.


While this approach is still only an approximate estimate, keeping note of cook times and heat settings is useful. However, if you fail to write it down elsewhere, you may use this approach in conjunction with one of the two ways described above to estimate how much cook time is left in a tank. For example, if a tank weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and has 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of propane left, the tank has roughly 6.75 hours of cook time left at maximum heat.


There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.