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How Long Does A Propane Tank Last On A Grill (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 18 to 20 Hours

Propane is one of the most common fossil fuels that is produced as a byproduct of natural gas and petroleum refining. Just like most other natural gases, propane has no color or odor of its own. This makes it a colorless and odorless gas, although certain aromas are added to it to serve as a warning signal in the case of leakage.

This natural resource is mostly used in barbeques and when cooking for smaller gatherings at picnics and camping. The other prominent uses of this include usage in the water heater, operating certain machines, and powering furnaces. Regardless of what reason drives its usage, a person must have an ample amount of fuel at hand.

How Long Does A Propane Tank Last On A Grill?

Type of Propane Tank and GrillBurning Time
Disposable 15-ounce Propane tank1 to 2 hours
Standard 20 lb Propane tank
A. Medium Size Grill18 to 20 hours
B. Large Size Grill8 to 10 hours

The burning time of the propane tank on the grill differs with different shapes and sizes of grills and different propane tanks. Generally speaking, there are two commonly used types of propane tanks. These are namely, the disposable 14 or 16-ounce propane tank and the 20 lb propane tank.

The disposable propane tank is the favorite heating system used in cases of barbeques. They usually come in tanks of either 14 ounces or 15 ounces. These propane tanks do not persist for more than a couple of hours and mostly burn out within 2 hours.

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The standard propane tank is another commonly used propane tank for similar occasions. This tank comes in sizes of 20 lb. The size of the grill has a major say in its usable time.

Smaller and Medium size grills can be burnt for more time on these propane tanks. A 20 lb standard propane tank lasts for about 18 to 20 hours on these medium-sized grills.

In contrast to these medium-sized grills, larger grills burn out the propane tank at a faster rate than others. This reduces the total burning time of propane tanks. As a result, the tanks may not be left with much propane gas after 8 to 10 hours of grilling activity.

Why Does A Propane Tank Last So Long On A Grill?

Propane tanks can not fire grills for a very long time. They have a limit and as the fuel in the tank would get used, it would be slowly emptied. Thus, one has to be prepared for any surprises while grilling.

Moreover, the amount of fuel in the tank is a direct determinant of the duration for which the propane tanks can fire the grill. If the propane tank is disposable, it will have less fuel and so it will run out for a short time. However, if the propane tank is standard, it would contain more fuel which would be sufficient to keep heating the grill for a long time.

Fuel gauges can play a significant role in knowing after how long can the propane rank runs out of fuel. This becomes particularly significant as most of the time people tend to run out of fuel in the middle of the grilling. However, if fuel gauges are used, they can decrease the chances of sudden lasting of fuel by keeping a check on it.

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The condition of the propane tank is an important factor. Usually, the propane tanks are required to be certified after 10 years of their manufacturing date and after every five years after that. In the absence of certification, the gas company can refuse to fill those tanks.


Propane tanks usually last for a period depending upon their fuel amount. Smaller ranks of 15 ounces may wear out and stop firing the grill after 1 to 2 hours. In contrary to them, the larger propane tanks can be fired for longer durations.

The size of the grill is also an important determinant. If the grill is smaller, the propane tank might keep firing for a larger time duration. When the grill is larger, the tank would be used up sooner and may last for lot fewer hours.



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