Published on Jul 11, 2012
Running out of fuel for your gas grill can bring your barbecue to a halt. CHOW.com's Blake Smith demonstrates how you can estimate your remaining propane without using a fuel gauge.
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Running out of propane in the middle of your barbeque is an embarrassing disaster but, unfortunately, most propane tanks don't have a built in fuel gauge so it's difficult to tell how much cooking time you have left. If you don't want a fuel gauge, don't worry, you can use this easy trick to figure out whether or not you need a refill.
Make sure the gas is turned off and then disconnect the tank and rest it on level ground. Pour a glass of warm water down the side of the tank and then feel the area. The liquid propane inside the tank will absorb the heat from the water. So the tank will feel cool to the touch wherever there is propane and warm where it's empty. Your average propane tank holds about twenty hours of cooking time. So knowing about how full the tank is will give you a good estimate of how much time you have left to grill. Okay, so obviously this is a blunt method. You're not going to know exactly how much fuel you have left but you will know whether or not you can get through your barbeque.
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