Can LPG Run A Barbie?

by Al

I have a LPG tank 25 ltr from a forklift that is on gas, can LPG run a barbie?


LPG is Liquefied Petroleum Gas. It is a combination of Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10).

If you are running a gas barbie then normally you would run it on butane because butane has a higher flame temperature than propane.

The advantage of propane however (for campers anyway) is that it doesn't liquefy until it reaches -42 degrees Celsius or -39 Fahrenheit whereas butane liquefies just below Zero Celsius or 31 Fahrenheit. So if you're grilling in winter, propane is the way to go.

So in theory, because LPG is a combination of propane and butane and these gases are suitable for use with a barbecue grill then there's no reason why you can't use LPG. Certainly there is no issue with smells or odours contaminating the food.

My big concern however is from a safety point of view and this relates to the gas regulator. The regulator controls the pressure at which the gas is delivered to its point of use, and there's a different type of regulator whether you're using propane, butane Or LPG. Each regulator is specific with regard to the pressure of gas in the cylinder so it's absolutely vital get it right.

What if your barbecue has previously run on natural gas? You must read this post below because switching from mains gas to tank gas is not as simple as disconnecting one supply pipe and reconnecting another.

I've seen many pictures of people with burns as a result of an accident with a barbecue so I take every precaution to ensure that my cookouts are as safe as possible. Using a non-standard gas presents a risk so ultimately the decision to take that risk has to be yours.

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Changing From Natural Gas to Propane

Valve Conversion Kit

Valve Conversion Kit

I have a DCS BBQ. At my previous residence it was plumbed to natural gas. I need to convert to propane because our new home does not have natural gas available.

Can you help me with the necessary equipment for the change?

Thanks, Gary


This isn't as simple as it first may seem and you're playing with fire if you get it wrong. Don't worry, I have a solution for you (below) but first I need to explain the background to what you're tryng to do.

The basic problem is that the difference between a natural gas burner and a propane burner is the pressure of the gas. Propane being the higher pressure.

If you were just to make the connection to a propane tank, the gas would flow through at such a rate that it would just blow itself out so in order for you to connect to propane, you need to reduce the pressure through the burners.

The pressure is determined by the valve orifice and it's important to get the size right so that you get the appropriate burner BTU output.

If you want to do a DIY job then the general rule is that to convert from propane to natural gas, you drill out the valve orifice to make it larger and there are recommended dimensions to drill out to.

The converse applies for the conversion that you want to do ie. the valve orifice holes need to be smaller. Ever tried to make a hole smaller?......almost impossible.

The easy way (and most importantly the safe way) is to buy a conversion kit. They're less than $100 and what price do you put on your safety?

See Also:-
Barbecue Grill Comparisons
Meat Smokers

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