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How to Use a Gas Grill

Gas grilling is less expensive and less messy than grilling with charcoal. Learn how to use these BBQ cookers in this guide.
Burgers on a Gas Grill

Getting Started

Grilling is an iconic summer activity, the perfect companion to pool parties and bonfires. Gas grilling has become increasingly popular as brands develop more attractive designs and smarter technology to enhance the cooking experience—gas is also far less messy than using charcoal. This cooking method is ideal for outdoor entertaining because you can be near your guests while you prepare the meal. From burgers to shrimp skewers to steaks, learning how to use a gas grill will open up a world of delicious possibilities. If you're about to purchase your first barbecue cooker, you may not know how to use a gas grill. Abt is here to help. We'll break down the benefits of grilling with gas and how to use a gas grill so you'll be cooking like a BBQ pro in no time.

Why Gas Grilling?

There are two types of gas grill: natural and liquid propane. Each of these has their own pros and cons that make them better suited for different lifestyles and homes. Natural gas grills require a hookup to a gas line, which has both benefits and drawbacks. The good thing is that you have an unlimited fuel supply so you don't have to worry about losing cooking power in the middle of a meal. However, because you're at the mercy of your home's gas line, you don't have as much flexibility with where you can place your grill; it might not be in the best space to prepare food in your yard. If you live in an apartment building or condominium complex, you might not have easy access to a gas line anyway.
Liquid propane solves some of these problems but it too has its own disadvantages. These grills use a tank of liquid propane to fuel the fire, meaning you don't have to worry about where the gas line is in your home. You'll be able to move your grill around your yard whether you're trying to cook in the shade or avoid being splashed by partygoers in the pool. The main disadvantage of liquid propane is that the tank will eventually run out, potentially leaving you without fuel mid-cooking. The easiest way to avoid this is to keep a spare tank on hand. Thus, you're left to decide which is more important to you: being able to freely move your grill or having access to unlimited fuel. The exception to this rule is grills that offer compatible conversion kits, which allow you to use your propane gas model as a natural gas one and vice versa.

Learning How to Use Your Grill

Now that you've determined which type of gas is best for you, it's time to learn how to use a gas grill. Let's get started:
  1. Determine your fuel source and hook up your grill accordingly. Natural gas grills should be connected by a professional to prevent gas leaks. Liquid propane models don't require professional assistance. Instead, you'll remove the cap from the nozzle on the tank and connect it to your grill's gas line. So long as the fitting on the tank is screwed on securely, you can turn on the gas and get grilling.
  2. Ensure your grill is positioned in a well-ventilated outdoor area and is far away from flammable materials.
  3. Light your grill. Many modern grills feature an igniter button while others feature knobs that you press and turn to ignite the burners. If the igniter isn't working you can use a long lighter to start the flame, but this shouldn't happen on a new BBQ.
  4. Preheat your grill. This is arguably the easiest step in learning how to use a gas grill; turn on all the burners and let them run for 10 to 15 minutes to heat up the cooking grates.
  5. Once the grates are hot, you can place your food on them to cook.
  6. When the food is done cooking, remove from the grill and turn it off.
  7. Scrape the grates with a grill brush while they're still warm to easily remove residue.
  8. Once completely cooled, fasten your grill cover over your barbecue.
Cleaning a Gas Grill

Caring for Your Grill

Proper care and maintenance is crucial to ensuring your BBQ cooker sticks around for years to come. You should use a grill brush to scrape food debris off the cooking grates after each use and do the occasional deep clean for caked-on messes. Deep cleaning should happen at least monthly but depending on how often you use your gas grill and what you're cooking, you might find that a deep clean every week or every other week is necessary. The exterior of your BBQ should also get an occasional wipedown, especially if you don't own a grill cover. If the exterior is stainless steel, you may want to purchase a stainless steel cleaner. You can also use water and a bit of mild dish soap to keep your barbecue looking good as new. We recommend using a grill cover if possible to help keep the exterior clean and protect it from things like harsh weather or insects. For more in-depth information on proper grill cleaning, visit our guide to grill cleaning tips and tricks.
If you're looking for more BBQ know-how, our outdoor grill buying guide is another great resource. You can also call Abt's grill masters at 800-860-3577 for more information and product recommendations.

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