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How Long Will Your Grill's Propane Tank Last?

How Long Will Your Grill's Propane Tank Last

Nothing beats the sheer joy that comes from grilling food over an open flame. Although most people prefer the delicious smoky flavor that comes from charcoal grilling, nothing beats the convenience, control, and mobility that you get from propane grills.

Whether you want a perfectly-seared steak or flawlessly-cooked tuna, a propane grill will do just that at the touch of a button. The downside, however, is the constant guessing game you have to play when trying to figure out how much gas you have left in the tank.

Propane tanks tend to run out of gas at the most inopportune moment. The real question is, how long does a 15-lb propane tank last? Is there a way to tell? Here’s what you need to know.

How Long Does a 15-lb Propane Tank Last?

For starters, you could get a propane tank gauge to estimate how much gas you have left. But anyone who’s ever used them before will tell you that they are highly inaccurate. One sure way to know would be to use the following formula:

T = PH ÷ kB

Where:

  • T is the grilling time
  • P is the volume of the propane tank
  • H represents the heating value of the gas
  • B is the BTU of your grill which represents its maximum heat output
  • k is the efficiency factor which is essentially the cooking “power” you’re using

If deriving this formula seems overly complicated, here’s a chart that you can use to estimate how long a 15-lb propane tank will last based on the burner’s BTUs.

Burner BTUs per hour

Lbs of Propane used per hour

Estimated grilling time in hours

10,000

0.5 lbs

30

20,000

0.9 lbs

16

30,000

1.4 lbs

10

Based on this, here’s how you can use the chart to estimate.

If your grill burner has a fire-power rating of 20,000 BTUs, it means that it uses 0.9 lbs of propane gas every hour. So, to get the estimated grilling time in hours, simply calculate:

15 lbs (size of propane tank) ÷ 0.9 = 16.67 hours

If the burner has 30,000 BTUs, it uses 1.4 lbs of propane every hour. So, to get the estimated grilling time to calculate:

15 lbs (size of propane tank) ÷ 1.4 = 10.71 hours

Always Be Prepared

Note that the values given are intended to provide rough estimates of how long your 15-lb propane tank should last. It is always better to have a spare tank on standby to avoid getting caught off-guard when the gas runs out.

Are you looking for a grill that’s backed by a lifetime warranty? Our comparison chart has it all. Check it out now!