It really sucks when you’re about to cook some tasty food on your gas grill, but it’s not getting hot. Maybe it was working just fine yesterday, or maybe it has been in winter storage and hasn’t been used in a while.
Whatever the situation, you want to find out why your grill is not getting hot and fix it.
So let’s start troubleshooting so you can put those steaks on the grill and feed the family!
Why Is Your Propane Gas Grill Not Getting Hot Enough?
Gas grills are very convenient and easy to use but they are also much more complicated than charcoal grills.
The propane gas will flow through many parts including a regulator that controls the pressure. Before feeding the flame that makes your grill hot the gas also has to be divided between the burners and get mixed with oxygen to burn properly.
All of these parts need to be tightly connected and work appropriately so that your grill will reach searing hot temperatures of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit or even more.
So why is that your grill is not getting as hot as it should?
There are numerous possible reasons why your gas grill is not heating up properly. It makes sense to cover the most obvious ones first and then move on to the more complicated issues.
Before we go any further, check that the following things are in order:
- Propane Tank: If your propane tank is empty or almost empty, you will only get low flickering flames or no flames at all. Ensure the tank has enough gas or try changing to a newly filled tank and see if it helps.
- Tank Connection: Check that the propane tank is properly connected to the grill and that the gas valve is open.
- Burners: Make sure that your burners are not clogged by food debris or too corroded to work properly. Food debris can be cleaned with a metal wire brush, but corroded burners need to be changed to new ones.
These are quite common issues with gas grills that are easy to spot and fix.
If your grill is still not getting hot, it’s time to move forward and see that the regulator is working as it should. After that, we will make sure that there are no gas leaks or loose connections.
Adjust the Gas Grill Regulator
One common reason for having low flames in your grill is that the flow-limiting device has been accidentally activated.
The purpose of this safety device is to prevent the gas grill from being overfilled with gas. When it’s activated, the safety valve will not fully open, and your grill will not get as hot as it should.
To fix this problem, you need to adjust the gas grill regulator and reset the flow-limiting device.
Here is how to do it:
- First, make sure that all of the burner knobs are turned to the OFF position.
- Next, shut off the propane tank valve and disconnect the regulator from the tank. This will reset it.
- Then it’s time to reconnect the regulator and open the tank valve. When you start opening the valve, do it slowly at first to avoid any sudden surge of gas from the tank.
- Now the regulator should work properly, and you can start the grill as usual. Turn all the burners to maximum heat and test that the grill is getting hot.
You can also watch the short video below to see how to do this simple procedure:
I also recommend that you check if the manual of your grill has more specific instructions on how to reset the regulator and how to start the grill in a correct sequence to avoid any further problems.
Still experiencing low flames?
Then let’s check for gas leaks.
Check for Gas Leaks and Loose Connections
Checking for gas leaks is pretty straightforward and only takes a few minutes.
Here is how to do it:
- Make sure that all your control knobs are in the OFF position and the propane tank valve is shut.
- Do a quick visual check on all hoses and connecting parts of the grill. Ensure that all connections are tight and there are no holes, cracks, or tears anywhere.
- Make a solution by mixing water with a small amount of dish soap. Wet a clean cloth or a sponge with the solution and apply it to the gas hose and connections.
- Open the propane tank valve and check the hose and all connecting parts for bubbles. If you see any bubbles starting to form, there is a leak that needs to be fixed.
- Turn the gas valve off after the inspection.
Checking for gas leaks is something that I recommend you do frequently, at least once a year, even if you don’t experience any problems with low flames.
How to Make Gas Grill Hotter
Sometimes you might want to make your gas grill extra hot to sear some steaks properly. Depending on the type of grill you have and the weather conditions, it might either be easy or a bit tricky.
High-end gas grills usually have powerful burners and a thick build with excellent heat retention, so they will get extremely hot in about 10 minutes. Some models even have an extra sear burner or infrared burners for additional heat.
But that kind of grills are often expensive and not all of us have one in the backyard. So how can you reach higher cooking temperatures with the grill that you already have?
Here are three tips that will help make your gas grill hot as hell!
1. Protect the Grill from Wind
Place your grill in an area that is sheltered from the wind. This will minimize the air flowing in and out of the grill allowing it to get hotter.
This is especially important if you’re grilling in cool and windy weather.
If you don’t have a sheltered spot in your backyard, you can also build temporary or permanent walls around the grilling area.
2. Use Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Grates
Thin grill grates don’t offer much heat retention — they cool off quickly after you put food on them.
Invest in thick cast iron grill grates. Like a cast iron skillet, they can hold a lot of heat and give your steaks nice sear and grill marks.
You can also get porcelain enameled cast iron grates to avoid food from sticking.
3. Preheat for a Longer Time
Reserve more time for preheating, and simply keep your grill hood closed and burners on full blast for at least 15 minutes before throwing the steaks in.