Cleaning Tips, Refilling or Exchanging Propane Gas. What’s Best For Your Weber Grill.

Ever since Weber invented the kettle grill in 1952 and popularized the idea of backyard covered cooking, debate has raged: charcoal, propane grill, or natural gas grill? Over the years, a high-quality grill has become the center piece of the backyard come barbecue season, but how do you know what to choose? Not only do you need to select the right fuel type – be it gas, propane or charcoal – but then you need to decide which brand of grill will best deliver your homemade mouthwatering summer delicacies.  And of course, which grill out there will give you the best value?

While there are many high-quality grill brands on the market, Yardville Supply and Smith’s ACE Hardware stores specialize in the full line of Weber Grills. Since Weber pioneered the concept of the outdoor grill and customers still rave about Weber’s innovation, design and durability, we find Weber to be a popular and long-lasting choice.

While Weber offers a line of charcoal grills, the cleaning, preparation and function of charcoal cooking differs quite a bit from either propane, which uses tanks of fuel, or natural gas grills, which connect directly to your home’s gas line. Gas and propane grills require similar care with a few key differences.

If you’re new to owning your Weber grill or interested in buying one for the coming summer cook-out season, here are a few steps you should take to make sure it’s ready to deliver summer on your plate.

We also feature other high quality brands including Big Green Egg & Traeger

1. Inspect your grill for leaks

Propane tank connection velve

Anytime you change or disconnect your propane tanks, check for leaks. This advice should also be followed when disconnecting or reconnecting your natural gas grill for the summer. All you need to do is apply some soapy water to the connection. With the control knobs off, switch on the fuel source. If you see bubbles forming, there’s a gas leak. Find a different tank or reconnect your grill. If your grill is natural gas and you cannot find the source of the leak, call your gas company.

Wire grill brush2. Clean the burner tubes

Use a stainless steel brush to scrub across the portholes, cleaning away oxidation and debris from the ports. Avoid brushing lengthwise, as this can move debris back into the holes, and blocked portholes can be a fire hazard.

Weber recommends getting a new stainless steel grill brush at the start of each grilling season and to inspect the brush for excessive wear or loose bristles.

3. Get rid of grease

Cleaning outdoor gas grill before next grilling.

As time goes by, excess grease – which is flammable – can build up around the sides of the cookbox. Use a plastic scraper to move this grease into the grease tray of your Weber Grill. From there, use the scraper to push the grease from the tray into the grill’s catch pan, and then replace the catch pan liner.

4. Replacing your propane tanks

propane tank

If your Weber Grill is propane-based, you should make sure you have a fuel supply at the ready before you start cooking. One extra convenience of a Weber natural gas grill is having a constant source of fuel, though propane can be economical and convenient for those who do not have natural gas in their house or who cannot install an additional gas line to their yard.

Yardville Supply offers new 20lb propane tanks at all of our Smith’s Ace Hardware store locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  At our Yardville location you can have your propane tank refilled.

Propane Refilling vs Tank Exchange.

Many people exchange their propane tanks.  Sometimes refilling may make more sense.

Some customers choose to refill their 20lb propane tanks rather than exchange them.  Exchanging your tank is no doubt convenient.  Exchanging became popular because many stations and stores did not have room to house filling stations for their customer’s propane.  Somewhere lost in that transition were the real tangible benefits to refilling propane rather than exchanging.  Costs are comparable so let’s take that out of the equation.

Do You Have 20lbs of Propane In Your 20lb Tank?

Ok so you have a 20lb propane tank, but do you have 20lbs of propane?  In short, if you refill you do, if you exchange you don’t.  Across the board exchange companies must transport all these 20lb propane tanks when they are full, or at least somewhat full.  Then by the very nature of the exchange setup the tanks are stored at the exchange location in groups.

We have all gone to exchange our propane tank and an employee opens a big cage which houses a bunch of 20lb tanks all in proximity.  Here is the catch. Exchange companies, due to transporting and storing multiple 20lb propane tanks in proximity of each other, are only allowed to fill the tanks with 15-17lbs of propane, not 20lbs.  When you refill your propane, it gets filled to the top within a fraction of the 20lb mark.

Are you getting what you give? 

So you have your new grill and you have your new propane tank.  Now let’s just go and exchange this empty tank for a full one.  Wait, wait, wait.  You have a new 20lb propane tank, your tank comes with an automatic 12-year certification.  After 12 years 20lb propane tanks must re-qualified by a trained inspector. Exchange companies do this as a matter of course.

When the tanks are re-qualified, a sticker is placed on them that allows to the tank to remain in operation for 5 more years.  At the end of that 5 years, the tanks must be inspected again and then can be given another 5-year certification sticker.  This goes on and on until the tank is deemed no longer safe.  So when exchanging you may not be getting a new tank, but it will be certified.

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