Natural gas or propane grills are a great piece of equipment for cooking outdoors. They provide a fast and easy way to cook food without the need for an open flame, which can be dangerous if not handled correctly. However, your gas grill might have a faulty low setting, due to which gas grill gets too hot on low setting. The high temperature of the gas grill can create dryness in soft meat like chicken or fish. If you suspect that your gas grill is suffering from high temperature, read on below about why it could happen and how you can fix it.
So, why is gas or propane grill getting too hot on low setting? There are many reasons why your gas grill’s low setting might get too hot; some of them include the type of regulator (low pressure or high pressure), wrong orifice for the type of fuel, defective valve or venturi tube due to dirt or spider nests, clogged burners, grease fires, etc.
Before proceeding further, first, let me clear if you are considering a huge yellow flame to be the reason for a high temperature of gas grill, your assumption is wrong. So, apply the below recommendations if after eliminating the yellow flame issue of your gas grill.
Also Read: Preventing Weber grill from getting wet
Table of Contents
What Is The Lowest Possible Temperature on Gas Grill?
It depends on the number of burners in a gas grill. With only one burner on to the low heat setting, the lowest temperature of a Weber propane gas grill is around 240 or 250 Fahrenheit. The highest temperature of a gas grill can reach up to 500 to 550 Fahrenheit with all burners set to a high setting. So, if your gas grill temperature is shooting above 350 Fahrenheit on a low setting, there are certain reasons which I have covered in the next section.
If you want to cook food at a temperature less than 250 Fahrenheit, a pellet grill is the best option.
Gas grills usually burn hotter than charcoal grills. The temperature of a gas grill depends on the number of burners that are lit and their setting. For instance, in the Weber Genesis Gas grill, there are three levels of heat mentioned on the knob of a burner:
- Full – High heat
- 3/4 – Medium heat
- Quarter (1/4) – Low heat
The knob to control the burner of the Weber gas grill is shown in the picture below.
It is a bit confusing while controlling the temperature of the Weber gas grill. It is not like the conventional gas stoves in which you get the maximum heat when you fully turn the knob in the anticlockwise direction.
In Weber gas grills, turning the knob on the Weber gas grill to a maximum extent in an anticlockwise direction will set it to the lowest setting. The low heat setting is on the extreme right of the knob of the burner and the high heat setting is on the left of the Weber gas grill burner. Whenever you change the setting of the knob of the burner, make sure to wait for at least 15 to 30 minutes while keeping the lid closed.
I’ve found this interesting video related to temperature settings in the gas grill. You should have a look at it.
Possible Causes of Gas or Propane Grills Getting Too Hot
Here are the following major causes of too hot gas grills at the low setting:
- Not using a regulator
- Regulator is faulty
- Wrong type of orifice
- Venturi tubes have spider webs
- Gas propane valve is not opened all the way
Gas grills are highly techy as compared to charcoal grills due to several components that control the gas flow. If any of the components has flaws, it can cause hot spots or uneven heat in the gas grill that can burn your food. Also, if your natural gas pipeline or propane gas tank is marked high psi, this might also be the cause of the too hot gas grill at a low setting.
A gas grill has the following main parts that regulate the flow of gas to grill burners and adjust the air/gas mixture for temperature regulation.
- Hose connection
- Pressure Regulator
- Burner tubes
- Gas shutter/venturi tubes
Let’s discuss the causes of the too hot gas grill in detail and find the possible solutions to eliminate the hot gas grill issue.
Gas Grill Pressure Regulator Problems
There are the following problems with the regulator of gas grills that may cause a too high temperature at low settings.
- Wrong choice of pressure regulator i.e. installing a high-pressure regulator instead of a low-pressure regulator
- Diaphragm is ruptured
- Spring has loosened stiffness due to changes in temperature or fluctuations in gas pressure
Since it is recommended to completely open the propane tank of a gas grill, the pressure regulator is required in a gas grill to control the flow rate of a gas, which in turn controls the heat of a gas grill. For propane grills, the regulator is connected with the propane tank to regulate the pressure. If you’ve natural gas grill, make sure that the regulator has been installed in the gas line of your house and the grill should be tied in downstream of the regulator.
To understand how pressure regulator works, you can check out the animation below.
Also, note that propane and natural gas regulators are not interchangeable. Propane gas is denser as compared to natural gas and produces 2.5 times more heat as compared to natural gas. If you use natural gas pressure regulator on the propane line, it will not be able to control the propane flow, which will result in producing a large flame and high temperature in a gas grill at the low setting.
Also, note that a standard 20 lb propane tank is supposed to connect with a low-pressure QCC1 style regulator. This Weber propane grill has a standard non-adjustable pressure regulator that is only suitable to connect with a 20lb propane tank and generate an outlet pressure of 11’’ of the water column.
So, if you replace a 20lb propane tank with a 100lb propane tank and use it with a standard pressure regulator of the weber grill, it will not be able to convert this to a rated pressure 11’’ of the water column. As a result, the outlet propane pressure will be higher and your propane gas grill will burn hotter at low settings.
On the other hand, if you use natural gas regulator, like this one, for a propane gas grill, it will rupture the diaphragm, due to which the pressure regulator will not be able to reduce the pressure of the gas. This will cause the temperature of the gas grill to shoot up to a large extent.
In addition, a faulty pressure regulator can be the cause of many problems with your gas grill. It is important to check the pressure regulator periodically for damage and cleaning. If the pressure regulator becomes clogged with dirt or grease, it will not work properly and could result in an uncontrolled flow of gas, which could lead to a dangerous situation.
Moreover, the heat or cold also changes the resistance of spring inside the regulator, due to which the performance of a pressure regulator can be affected. So, if you find that the regulator of your weber propane grill is damaged, you can buy this low-pressure regulator that is designed to connect with a 20lb propane tank.
Hose Connection Issue
If you’ve installed a suitable pressure regulator in the gas line of your grill, but the hose connection is not correct, it will disturb the gas flow and cause an uncontrolled rise in the temperature of your gas grill. The natural gas hose has an orifice of higher diameter, which is designed for natural gas. If you use it for a propane gas grill, more propane will flow through the hose connection.
Moreover, also note that there are no spider webs inside the hose as the uninterrupted gas flow could cause irregular flames.
Lastly, make sure that the insulation of the hose of your gas grill is not damaged. If you’re grilling on a sunny day, the ambient heat can cause gas flowing through the hose to expand. This will increase gas pressure. Resultantly, this increased pressure will increase the combustion temperature of a gas.
Improper Orifice Size on the Burner Valve
An orifice on the burner control valve of a gas grill is installed, which acts as a nozzle to increase the velocity of gas so that it can mix with the air in the venturi tube for combustion.
You can see the orifice size of propane and natural gas in the picture below.
In the picture above, you can see the size of the natural gas orifice is almost twice the propane gas orifice size. If you install natural gas orifice for a propane grill, the amount of propane gas flowing through the burner valve will be more, due to which the gas grill may become too hot. The best way to verify the orifice is to insert a 3/64’’ drill bit shank in the orifice. If the drill bit shank is inserted, it is an NG orifice. Otherwise, it would be a propane orifice.
Moreover, if your gas grill is becoming too hot at a low setting and orifice size is correct, make sure that it is not layered with carbon. The carbon can damage the orifice which may also cause the temperature of the gas grill to increase.
Placing Gas Grill in Direct Sunlight
This issue mainly arises with the propane gas grills. Exposing propane bottles to direct sunlight for a long time causes the gas inside the cylinder to expand. This increases the pressure of propane, which can also be the cause of a too hot gas grill at a low setting. So, it is recommended to place the propane tank under the shade and it should not be exposed to a temperature above 120F.
This is usually caused by food particles or grease that have built up over time and restrict the flow of gas. This causes irregular flames to come out of the burner.
From some areas, there will be huge flames coming out, while in some areas the flame would be negligible. This non-uniform distribution of gas flow to clogged burner will cause hot spots and uneven heat distribution inside the gas grill. So, if the thermometer is right above the area where there is a huge flame, it will show the high temperature of the gas grill.
You can see huge gas flames on one side of a burner due to uneven gas distribution.
The reason for the uneven distribution of flame in a gas grill is that the holes in the burner are either not machined well or they are clogged with carbon soot and grease. If you check out these new burner tubes, you will see that all burner slots along the length of a burner tube are of the same size.
Moreover, if the pattern of slots is not the same across all burner tubes of the gas grill, it can also cause hot spots in the grill.
To clean the burner slots, you can insert a screwdriver in the burner slots to perform the same sort of punch down or clean out. You can also use a wire brush to clean the burner slots. You can also check out the video below to learn how to clean burner tubes of a gas grill.
In this way, cleaning the burner slots will eliminate the uneven heat problems in the gas grill.
Venturi Tubes and Air Shutter Issue
The schematic diagram of air shutter and venturi tube assembly in a gas grill is shown below.
The air shutter is adjusted by the factory to allow a specific air/gas ratio required for efficient combustion. There is a screw on the shutter to adjust the opening for the mixing of air with the gas. If you’ve messed with the air shutter of your gas grill, it could also be the reason for a too hot gas grill at a low setting. The opening in the air shutter for a natural gas grill is larger than the shutter opening for a propane gas grill.
You can also check out the video below to learn more.
Also, check that there are no spider webs or other insect cocoons in the venture tubes.
Some Tips to Prevent Food from Too High Temperature of Gas Grill
Here are the tips you can follow to eliminate the high-temperature issues in a gas grill.
Indirect heating can prevent your food from exposing to the high temperature of a gas grill. However, indirect heating is possible if you have a 3-burner gas grill. In indirect heating, turn on all three burners for around 15 minutes at a low setting. Then, turn off the third burner on the end (either left or right), and put the food there. In this way, it will not be exposed to high temperatures.
Use Heat Diffuser
You can place a heat diffuser plate, like this one, on the grill grate. It will distribute the heat before exposing the food and prevent it from the high temperature of a gas grill.
Do Not Turn On Sear Station
Some gas grills, like Weber Spirit E330 Lp Black Grill, have a sear burner/station that operates on only full setting to impart grill marks on the meat.
If you check the picture below, the sear burner (the small knob) is on the second number from the left.
With a sear burner, an intense heat zone is created that causes too high temperature of a gas grill. So, make sure that you should not have accidentally turned on the sear burner knob on your gas grill.
Use Extra Thermometer
A built-in thermometer, which is in the lid of a gas grill might not record the accurate temperature inside the gas grill. You can use this Bluetooth temperature probe to determine the temperature accurately inside the gas grill.
Keep Grill Clean for Even Cooking
It is important to keep your grill clean so that heat can distribute evenly. If there is any grease or residue on the grill, it will also start burning and will release extra heat that will be the cause of the too hot gas grill.