When a gas grill gets too hot on low setting, there are a few possible causes. Once you’re able to identify them, it should be easy to put your grill back in prime working order. Let’s take the first steps so you can get your cookout back on track.
Gas Grill Gets Too Hot on Low Setting
Most of the time, when the gas grill gets too hot on low setting, it’s because the airflow is restricted in one way or another. This could be due to dirty or corroded burners, improper installation, blocked vents, or issues with the gas regulator. It could also just mean that the grill thermometer is inaccurate, but this is less common.
How Hot Do Gas Grills Get?
The maximum temperature of most gas grills is 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Some might only be able to attain a top temp of 500 degrees.
There are models available that offer sear stations or infrared burners. These features allow the grill to reach higher temps—up to 850 degrees, in some cases.
When set to low, the grill temperature should only hover around 200-300 degrees. If you’re cooking ribs or pork butt, you won’t want it to go much higher than this. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll want to correct the issue if your grill is running too hot.
Gas Grill Gets Too Hot on Low Setting: Possible Reasons
Why won’t your grill run at a low temperature when you’re programming it to do so? Here’s a list of the most common reasons, along with possible solutions for each.
The Temperature Gauge is Inaccurate
Just because the gauge is showing a too-high temperature doesn’t necessarily mean the grill is too hot. The issue could be as simple as a faulty grill thermometer.
Use a second thermometer to test the grill temp before you do anything else. If the grill is really as hot as you feared, proceed to the suggestions we’ve listed below.
The Gas Regulator is Set Too High
Your next order of business is to check the gas regulator. Turn it all the way to the “off” position, then switch it back on.
Set the grill to “Low” and wait to see how hot it gets. If it’s still heating past the desired range, you’ll have to adjust the regulator so that it runs at a lower setting.
The Gas Regulator is Faulty
The issue with the regulator might go beyond the setting. If it’s clogged with dirt and debris, that can affect the gas flow, and the regulator won’t work properly as a result.
If this is the problem, you’re in luck—it’s an easy fix. Just clean out the regulator, taking care to ensure that there’s nothing blocking the gas flow. That should do the trick. If it doesn’t, then the regulator might need to be replaced altogether.
The Burners Are Dirty or Corroded
If you go long enough without cleaning out the burner orifices on your gas grill, they can become blocked by debris as well. In the absence of an effective flow of gas, the low setting on the grill won’t work as well.
Use a toothpick or toothbrush to remove any dirt and debris from the holes. As soon as you’re confident that the orifices are clean, put the grill back together and test out the low setting.
Even grills that are well maintained can be prone to corrosion over time. If you notice that yours have corroded, you can replace them easily. Here’s how:
- Take off the grill grates and heat plates.
- Remove the burners (you might need to take out a few screws or remove a cotter pin to get the job done).
- Clean out the burner box while you have access to it.
- Line up the air intake of the new burner and slip it onto the nozzle. Secure the burner in the burner box.
- Replace any screws or cotter pins.
- Set the cooking grates and heat plates back in place.
The Orifices are the Wrong Size
The burner orifices are responsible for evenly distributing the gas flow. If they’re too small, the flow is restricted, causing the grill to heat up too quickly. Conversely, orifices that are too large will prevent the grill from getting hot enough to cook food.
It’s not complicated to remove and replace the orifices, but you do need to make sure that you have the correct size on hand. Check the manual before you attempt to make the switch, and buy new parts if necessary.
If the gas grill gets too hot on a low setting, a lack of proper ventilation might be the culprit. The grill needs adequate airflow in order to regulate its temperature.
Check the vents and clear away any obstructions. Once they’ve been cleaned out, adjust them while testing the low setting on your grill. You might have to play around with them a bit to find the right configuration.
The Burner Tubes are Obstructed
Take a look at the actual flames. Do they appear to be jumping around or blowing themselves out? Uneven or erratic flames can signify issues with the burner tubes and control valves.
Take a look at the tubes and adjust any components that appear to be out of line. Again, remove any obstructions that you notice. When you fire up the grill again, the flames should be burning evenly.
The Bottom Line
A gas grill that gets too hot when set to low can be a real hassle to deal with. If none of these suggestions work out for you, contact a professional. They might be able to find the underlying issue and save your investment.
Best of luck, and happy grilling!