How to Light a Portable Propane Grill in 6 Easy Steps

Just ignite the burner on your trusted portable propane grill and you’re good to go, right?


It’s not always like this. Propane grills can be quite dangerous when they are not handled properly and this guide will help you understand how to light a portable propane grill safely.

Don’t like long text? Then skip to the summary.

How Do You Light a Portable Propane Grill?

Here is what you need to do:

1. Check That the Tank Has Been Connected Properly and Has Enough Fuel

This is a crucial step.

Since the grill runs on propane, you will have to make sure that there is enough of it.

As a rule of thumb, a full 16 oz or 1 lb propane tank lasts for about 2 hours.

How Can You Tell When a Propane Tank Is Empty?

Some gas tanks have a gauge that shows how much it is left. If you don’t have one, you can easily get it on the cheap (they usually cost between 15$ – 25$).

1 lb propane tank with gauge

If you don’t have one, spill some hot water over it and place your hand on top. Then slowly move it down.

When you feel a change of temperature from hot to cold, that’s how much propane you have left.

The hose that connects the gas tank and the grill should also be connected properly before you proceed to ignite the burner.

You should also be on the lookout for the smell of gas around the grill as this would signify that there are leaks which can be quite dangerous.

2. Turn the Valve on The Tank to Release the Gas

This one is self-explanatory.

3. Open One Burner

turning knob on portable propane grill

You will have to open one burner to allow the propane to flow through it.

Make sure that the burner is set to the “High” temperature setting.

4. Ignite the Burner

After allowing propane to pass through the burner, you will have to ignite it.

Use the igniter on the grill’s front surface to get the burner to start.

How Do You Light a Gas Grill if the Electronic Ignitor Is Broken?

If the igniter button doesn’t light up the burner, then you will have to use a matchstick to manually light it up.

The matches that you use in this case should be long so you don’t burn yourself.

To use a matchstick to light up your propane grill, you will have to:

  1. Turn on the gas
  2. Light the match
  3. Hold the match close to the burner and turn the burner’s knob to the “High” setting

This will ignite the burner almost immediately as the matchstick will provide the spark needed.

If the burner does not light up after a few seconds using either of these methods, then you need to turn off the gas right away and wait for several minutes before trying to ignite the burner all over again.

If you don’t do this, then gas will accumulate and this can be quite dangerous.

The accumulated gas could get ignited by sparks elsewhere and this can result in a fire or even an explosion.

gas grill on fire

You may also end up inhaling this accumulated gas and this is very bad for your health and well-being.

5. Ignite the Other Burners

With the first burner now lit, you will have to ignite the remaining ones (if you have them, of course).

To do this, turn on the knobs of the remaining burners and set them to high.

Press the start button to ignite the remaining burners and when this method fails, use a match or lighter to do so.

6. Let the Burners Burn for a Few Minutes

Before you begin cooking, you should let the grill heat up for at least a few minutes.

The heat generated will kill the germs on the grates.

This also preheats the grill.

It is advised to close the lid as it helps reduce preheating time which in turn uses less propane.

closing lid of portable gas grill

Too Long; Didn’t Read

How to Light a Portable Gas Grill

This procedure works on all brands, including Weber, Cuisinart, Char-Broil, and Coleman.

  1. Make sure the tank is hooked up properly and there are no leaks
  2. Release the valve
  3. Set one burner to high (doesn’t matter which one)
  4. Ignite it with the ignition button, match, lighter,…
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on other burners (if you have them)
  6. Leave them be for at least a couple of minutes so they preheat the grill

Video Demonstration

In the video below it’s shown on a backyard gas grill, but the process is the same.

It’s Easy Peasy

Lighting up a portable propane grill is pretty straightforward but you need to make some safety checks beforehand.

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About Mario 148 Articles
I am the owner of Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.

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