Tips for Using your Propane BBQ in the Winter

Winter is a great time of year to use the BBQ. Fun and flavorful food that is easy to make just tastes better when it’s grilled. Using a propane barbecue in the winter is convenient and not nearly as challenging as you think. Just follow these tips for winter grilling with a propane barbecue.


When was the last time you checked your hoses and connections for wear, splits, and a proper fit? Remember to check these things as part of your regular grill maintenance routine.


Tips for Winter Grilling with Propane

  • Prep as much as you can before grilling and allow for extra time to preheat the grill.

  • Due to cooler temperatures in the winter, especially in northern areas, you may find that you will be using more propane than usual. This is due to increased time in preheating, and added propane used to keep grills hot as the ambient temperature is colder and will sap a BBQ’s heat like it does your own body heat.

  • Add lights. It gets dark earlier in the winter, while some Napoleon Grills, like our Prestige PRO™ Series grills, feature interior lights, it never hurts to make sure you have loads of illumination with extra exterior lights or even clip-on lights.

  • Consider having extra propane on hand if doing a larger or longer cook, you will already be using more fuel than normal. The last thing you want when cooking on the barbecue in the winter is to run out of fuel. It’s bad enough when it happens in the summer; imagine if you’re grilling a holiday meal! Check your propane levels before cooking.


How to Check Fuel Levels in a Propane Tank

  1. The easiest way to see where you are at with fuel in a propane tank is to remove the tank from your grill and pour some hot tap water over the side of the tank. Feel the side of the tank, it will be significantly cooler at the level where the propane begins. This will give you an idea how much fuel you have.

  2. Weigh the tank. The average propane tank weighs 16 to 18 lbs. and holds 20 lbs. of liquid propane. (You can confirm these numbers as they are stamped on the handle of your tank. Place the propane tank on a scale, then subtract the weight of the tank from the weight to see approximately how much propane is left in the tank.



How to Store Propane in the Winter

If you have an extra propane tank just in case, or prefer to store your grill over the colder months, it will need to be properly stored until needed. Propane can be safely stored outdoors in temperatures down to -50°F/-45°C all winter. Remember to keep the tank off the ground, on a pallet, or paving stone is ideal. Keep your tank covered or sheltered until needed.




Can you Light a Propane Grill in the Winter?

You may or may not have heard rumors that you can’t use a propane grill in the winter, that it just won’t light. Although sometimes barbecues are sensitive to the drop in temperature that comes with winter, it is very unlikely that your grill won’t light. While there are places on earth where the ambient temperature will drop below -44°F/-42°C it can be possible that the liquid propane cannot properly vaporize and ignition is impossible, however that is an extreme case and very unlikely even in Ontario and Vermont. If you are experiencing poor heating or less than ideal looking flames, it is more likely that you need to do a regulator reset, or clean the burner ports. Regular grill maintenance is the key to the performance of your grill, especially in extreme weather conditions.

This year, instead of hiding your beautiful barbecue away for the season, whip it out! Prepare delicious meals and comforting creations all winter. Your family will thank you! Share some of your winter barbecue adventures with us on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram.

Happy Grilling!