How Do I Light a Gas Grill? Tips on Keeping the Flame

Gas grills have numerous benefits. Not only do they have the ability to turn out mouthwatering barbecue, they can reach the desired temperature in a matter of minutes. Because you’ll be dealing with a large fuel source, however, you definitely need to know what you’re doing. Here’s a primer to help you get started.

How Do I Light a Gas Grill?

Preliminary Tips

First of all, you’ll need to make sure the lid is open. This simple step is actually one of the most crucial of all. If the grill chamber is allowed to fill with gas before you switch on the ignition, you’ll be dealing with an explosion instead of dinner. In the event that the gas has been turned on when the lid is closed, switch it off as soon as possible and wait for a few minutes before attempting to light the grill.

Additionally, make sure the weather isn’t too windy. If there is a breeze, you have two options: Move the grill to a more sheltered area, or have a companion hold up a makeshift shield (such as a broad piece of plywood or trash can lid) while you light the burners. Otherwise, you might waste a lot of gas waiting for the flame to catch. Note that sheltered doesn’t mean enclosed— in fact, it’s dangerous to operate a gas grill in a confined area. You can use a deck or covered porch, but not if the area is screened in. As an added precaution, you should also make sure the roof measures at least nine feet high.

The last thing you’ll want to do before lighting the grill is to take a look at the instruction manual. There should be clear instructions on how to safely operate the product. If the directions are either missing or too difficult to follow, don’t worry. The basic procedure is similar enough for all gas-fired units. Simply proceed to the step-by-step list we’ve included below.

Lighting the Grill

1. Open the lid. Check to ensure that all of the burner knobs are in the “OFF” position.

2. Make sure the gas lines to the grill are turned on. You might want to watch an instructional video beforehand to ensure that the lines are in proper working order.

Open the valve slowly, and wait for a minute or two to allow the fuel to travel through the line. Some grills have a secondary valve on the grill itself that needs to be switched on before the burners will light. If this is the case, turn this valve on now.

3. Turn on a single burner. If the grill is equipped with an automatic ignition switch, press on it until flames appear. If not, there should be a series of holes in the base of the grill chamber, wide enough to accommodate a lighted match. Use the one that’s closest to the burner you want and carefully insert the match to ignite the burner.

Some older models might not have automatic ignition switches or lighting holes. That’s fine—just use a long match to light the burners from the top instead. Take care not to hold your fingers too close.

4. It’s a good idea to allow all the burners to run on high for about five minutes before attempting to cook. This step helps to eliminate any residual grease or food particles that might be clinging to the heat diffusers. When the fire is burning brightly with no lingering smoke, the burners should be ready for business.

5. Turn the heat to your desired setting and lightly oil the cooking grates.

6. Prepare your favorite grilled recipes the way you usually would. Enjoy!

If you’ve ever asked yourself “how do I light a gas grill?”, we hope this tutorial has provided a suitable answer to your question. Best of luck, and happy grilling!

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