How Long Does Propane Last For a Portable Grill?

how long does propane last for portable grills

I was grilling the other day on a small Weber Gas Grill and when I got about halfway through, I realized I was out of propane. Luckily I had an extra tank but it got me thinking, how long do smaller propane tanks last for a portable grill? Obviously I know the tank on my larger grill at home lasts a lot longer. I don’t have to get that refilled as often as I have to replace these smaller tanks. That was clear but, I didn’t know how long these one pound disposable tanks actually lasted. 

So how long do propane tanks last for a portable grill? On a smaller grill, you would typically use a one pound disposable tank which usually lasts for about 90 minutes on high heat. Compared to a standard 20 pound propane tank which usually lasts for about 20 hours. 

How long your propane tank lasts will depend on both the size of the propane tank and how high the heat is. Using more heat requires more propane so you will run out faster that way. If you are grilling on just medium heat, you may get more use of your propane tank. Either way, I would still recommend keeping an extra tank of propane on hand. Running out in the middle of grilling and not being able to get more can ruin either your barbecue or tailgate. 

What Can You Do To Prevent Running Out of Propane?

If you are tailgating, I would absolutely bring two tanks of propane. If each one lasts only 90 minutes, depending on how much you are grilling, there is a good chance you will run out of propane at some point. Luckily, one pound tanks of propane are usually sold in packs of two. 14 ounce disposable tanks are typically sold in pairs as well.

If you are using a smaller grill at your house, one thing you can do is get a propane adapter hose. This will connect a one pound tank to a 20 pound tank. This will obviously allow you to grill for about 20 times as long as you normally would have been able to. Also, with the 20 pound tanks, you can always get them refilled. That is better than having to buy a new one pound tank every time you run out. 

Advantages of a One Pound Tank

The biggest reason most people use a one pound tank for their smaller grills is because it is much easier to transport. Portable tanks are made for portable grills and are ideal for tailgates. The smaller tanks are useful for camping trips. Also, people who don’t grill often can’t justify having a 20 pound tank of propane sitting around. One pound propane tanks are a lot cheaper than a 20 pound tank. You can usually find a one pound tank of propane for around $4. If you are someone who is just using your portable grill every once in a while for tailgates, the one pound tanks would make a lot of sense for you.

Disadvantages of a One Pound Tank

The biggest disadvantage to using a one pound tank is that it is more expensive over time. If you’re grilling often, it might be worth it for you to invest in a one-pound to 20-pound propane hose adapter. You can buy these adapters fairly cheap. They usually cost around $10 on Amazon. A one pound tank of propane is only about $4 which is going to be cheaper if you aren’t grilling much. 20 pound tanks fill it up for about $20 depending on propane prices. The tank will last you 20 times as long as the one pound tanks. The 20 pound tanks are more expensive in the beginning because you have to buy the tank first. The first tank costs around $50, depending on the brand and where you are buying it from.

I hope this helped answer “how long do propane tanks last for a portable grill.” The biggest takeaway here is make sure you know how long the propane will last for your grill to make sure you don’t run out! Don’t forget to always keep an extra tank as back up so you have enough to keep the party going. If you found this article helpful, check out our grilling page.

Sam Rebinskas

Sam is the co-founder of Improve Your Gameday and loves all Boston sports teams.

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