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When Should You Refill Your Propane Grill Tank?

Written on: March 27, 2023

Avoid a cookout interruption by ensuring you have enough fuel.

checking propane level Mt. Pleasant, mi What’s your grill specialty? Maybe you pride yourself on a perfectly seared ribeye, or you can make the flavor of a grilled trout fillet sing.

One way to make the music stop suddenly is to run out of propane in the middle of a cookout. You don’t want to leave your hungry guests standing around while you run out to get a propane tank refill. That’s why it’s crucial to keep tabs on how much fuel is left in your propane grill tank.

How much cooking time will you get from a propane cylinder?

If you have a medium gas grill, a 20-pound portable propane tank should provide you with about 18 to 20 hours of cooking time. You can expect one cooking session for every two pounds of fuel, which works out to 10 meals per cylinder.

Bear in mind that larger propane grills with more burners will consume propane faster. You may only get 10 hours of cooking per cylinder.

How can you tell how much fuel is in your tank?

Here are four ways to know how much propane you have left in your barbecue’s tank:

  1. Check your grill for a scale. Many models have clamps that attach the cylinder to a scale that provides a reading of how much fuel it has. If there is no scale, you have three other ways to check.
  2. Weigh it on a home scale. Most propane grill tanks weigh 17 pounds when empty. When full, these tanks hold 20 pounds of propane for a total of 37 pounds. If you weigh your cylinder on a home scale, you can deduct 17 from the scale reading and divide the difference by 20. For example, a scale reading of 27 pounds means the tank has 10 pounds of propane. In a 20-pound cylinder, that is half full.
  3. Use the hot water test. Liquid propane absorbs heat fast, so you can easily find your cylinder’s fill line using hot water. Pour hot water over the propane tank and feel where the metal turns cold. That’s your fill line!
  4. Use an external scale. These products attach between your cylinder’s valve and the grill connection and come in analog and digital. Some meters give you a simple fill percentage, while others will even tell you how much cooking time is left!

When is it time to replace your propane grill tank?

Propane grill tanks are durable, but they won’t last forever. According to the Department of Transportation, portable propane cylinders are qualified for use up to 12 years after their manufacturing date. After this, the tank should be replaced or recertified. On the other hand, the propane inside your tank has a virtually unlimited shelf life.

Coyne Oil & Propane can refill your grill tank!

We supply premium propane to cylinder refill dispensaries in Clare, Mt. Pleasant, Breckinridge and many other towns in northern and central Michigan. We’re sure there’s one near you!

It’s almost always more cost-effective to refill your cylinder instead of exchanging it. When you trade in a grill tank, you lose any propane left in it. But when you refill a cylinder, you only pay for the propane going in.

Do you use propane for your home’s heating system and appliances? Get in touch with the Coyne team to receive world-class propane delivery services.

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