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How to Use a Propane Grill

Teaching propane grill use

Posted: July 22, 2019

If you have recently upgraded from an old charcoal grill to a modern propane gas grill, you’re probably still discovering all of the marvelous benefits.

One thing people often rave about is the precise control of heat that a propane gas grill provides. Simply turn the dial and you’ll instantly get more heat or less heat. That control is a big advantage if you’re planning to cook and serve a variety of dishes during your next backyard barbecue.

With a propane grill, you have the choice of using different temperature modes (heat zones). You can easily create these zones by turning the dial on one side to high heat and the other to low heat.

Searing, meat and heat

If you would like to create a wonderful grilled flavor for those strip steaks you’re throwing on the grill tonight, follow this method. Turn the temperature control to high, make sure the grill is hot and put the meat on the grill. Wait one minute for it to sear, then flip the meat and reduce the heat. The high temperature will caramelize the meat’s surface, giving you a flavorful, crisp surface. You can do this with lamb and pork too.

Direct heat vs. indirect heat on a propane grill

The ability to employ either direct heat or indirect heat is another reason why a propane grill is so versatile. While direct heat is great for cooking your food hot and fast—including thin cuts of meat, quick-cooking vegetables, and shrimp—indirect heat lets you grill whole chickens and large roasts. You can even bake bread!

To do some baking instead of grilling, just turn off the burners that sit directly under what you are cooking, keep the surrounding burners on and close the lid of the grill. Do this correctly and you will be sure to hear praise from family and friends. In fact, they may want you to handle outdoor cooking wherever you go!

Grilling your meat safely

Another terrific benefit of cooking with a propane grill is that you will greatly reduce your exposure to carcinogens that end up in your food when grilling. In contrast, charcoal grills create more smoke and burn hotter, leading to the formation of toxins that have been linked to some cancers.

Here are some quick tips that will help ensure that your grilled meat is the safest it can be:

  • trim excess fat before cooking
  • when making your marinade, include some chopped rosemary (studies show that this significantly reduces toxins; marinades with garlic, onion and lemon juice are also recommended)
  • flip the meat frequently when cooking

Maintenance and grill safety

Performing regular maintenance on your grill will keep it working better and longer. Start with a good grill cleaning and continue to a full inspection of all the internal parts. Check the burners to make sure that the ports (the holes where the flames come out) are not clogged.

If they are, use a thin wire or pipe cleaner to clear any obstruction. Blocked ports cause uneven flame and can cause burners to fail. Check the igniters to make sure there is a good spark and the grill lights properly.

Read more safe grilling tips.