Outdoor cooker on House Patio

Convert Propane BBQ to Natural Gas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Why Convert a Propane BBQ to Natural Gas?

When you’re considering a switch from a propane to a natural gas BBQ, you’re looking at a range of practical benefits. One of the main benefits is the cost-effectiveness of natural gas. Given that natural gas is typically cheaper than propane, converting can lead to long-term savings on fuel costs.

  • Cost Savings: Prolonged use of natural gas can reduce your overall expenditure on grill fuel.
  • Convenience: Natural gas hook-ups eliminate the need to refill propane tanks.
  • Consistent Fuel Supply: With a direct line, you never risk running out of gas during a barbecue.

Beyond cost, convenience is a significant factor. A natural gas BBQ connects directly to your home’s gas line, meaning you won’t have to deal with the hassle of exchanging or refilling propane tanks. This can be particularly handy during big events or cookouts where uninterrupted cooking is essential. Additionally, since natural gas burns cleaner than propane, there’s the added advantage of a reduced environmental impact:

  • Lower Emissions: Natural gas produces fewer pollutants compared to propane.
  • Sustainable Option: Tapping into a direct gas line means less plastic waste from propane tanks.

Lastly, the reliability of cooking with natural gas is worth noting. Unlike propane tanks which can unexpectedly run empty, a natural gas line provides a steady, continuous supply, ensuring your BBQ session isn’t cut short at an inopportune time.

  • Steady Heat: A consistent gas flow keeps your grilling temperature stable.
  • Uninterrupted Grilling: No need to change tanks even during long cookouts.

With a direct connection to natural gas, you relax knowing your grill is always ready to go. Just turn on the burner and start cooking your favourite BBQ dishes with ease and efficiency.

Benefits of Converting to Natural Gas

When considering upgrading your BBQ from propane to natural gas, you’ll discover a range of benefits that extend beyond the simplicity of not having to exchange tanks. Understanding these advantages will inform your decision-making process and highlight why this transition is not just a culinary choice but a practical one as well.

Cost Savings Over Time
Natural gas is typically less expensive than propane, especially when you factor in the convenience of a direct line. By switching, you’re tapping into a cost-effective fuel solution.

  • Average cost of propane per gallon: $2.30
  • Average cost of natural gas per therm: $0.70

With natural gas, your BBQ’s fuel costs could be significantly reduced, trimming your budget in the long run.

Uninterrupted Supply and Convenience
Imagine a summer of uninterrupted cookouts, where the flow of fuel is as constant as the demand for your grilled masterpieces. That’s the reality of a natural gas connection – it offers a dependable source that won’t leave you mid-BBQ with an empty tank.

Eco-Friendly Alternative
Shifting to natural gas also means you’re making an environmentally conscious decision. The clean combustion of natural gas translates to:

  • Fewer air pollutants
  • Reduced reliance on plastic tanks
  • Lower carbon footprint from diminished transportation of tanks

Each BBQ session becomes a step toward a greener lifestyle.

Enhanced Reliability for Cooking
With a conversion to natural gas, your outdoor cooking experience becomes more predictable and manageable. Natural gas grants precise control over temperature, ensuring your meats and veggies are perfectly cooked every time. A steady heat supply means no more guessing about tank levels or sudden temperature dips – just consistent culinary success.

Considering these benefits, converting your propane BBQ to natural gas not only enhances your grilling experience but also contributes positively to your finances and the environment. It’s a choice that serves the palate as well as the planet.

Safety Considerations

When considering the switch from propane to natural gas for your BBQ setup, safety must take precedence. Natural gas conversions involve working with gas lines which, if handled improperly, can pose serious hazards.

Firstly, ensure that your BBQ is compatible with natural gas. Not all propane BBQs can be safely converted. Check with the manufacturer or consult a professional before proceeding.

Hire a certified technician to handle the gas line. The conversion involves tapping into your home’s natural gas supply, a process that requires expertise to prevent leaks, which could lead to fires or explosions.

Be aware of the proper venting necessary for natural gas. Unlike propane, which is heavier than air and pools at ground level, natural gas is lighter and disperses upwards. Any enclosed spaces where the BBQ is placed need appropriate ventilation to prevent gas accumulation.

Install a gas shutoff valve in a convenient and accessible location. In case of emergency, you’ll need to turn off the gas supply quickly.

Lastly, after conversion, test for leaks. Using a soapy water solution on the connections, check for bubbles that indicate escaping gas. This simple test could prevent potential accidents.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure that the benefits of natural gas grilling come without compromising your safety.

Preparing Your BBQ for Conversion

Before you start your BBQ’s transformation from propane to natural gas, certain preparations are in order. It’s not just about cost savings or convenience; safety and efficiency are critical.

Firstly, check your BBQ’s compatibility. Manufacturers often design BBQs with a specific gas in mind. Therefore, ensure your model is convertible. This information is available in the owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer directly.

Gather Necessary Conversion Kits and Tools

  • Conversion kit suitable for your BBQ model
  • Wrench set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pipe-threading compound

Once you’ve verified that your BBQ is suitable for conversion, purchase a conversion kit. These kits include new gas jets, hoses, and often detailed instructions tailored to your BBQ model.

Install a Natural Gas Line

If your home doesn’t already have a natural gas supply line that extends to your BBQ area, you’ll need to install one. This step typically requires a professional gas fitter to ensure it meets local codes and safety standards.

Next, thoroughly clean your BBQ. Remove any residual grease or debris that could interfere with the conversion process. A clean BBQ will help ensure a smoother transition and better performance post-conversion.

Test All Connections

Once the conversion kit is installed, it is imperative to test all connections for leaks using a soapy water solution. Should you detect bubbles forming, tighten the connections until the leaks stop. Remember, never test for leaks with a flame.

By meticulously following these preparatory steps, you’re setting yourself up for a successful conversion. The reliability and continuity of cooking with natural gas are now within your grasp, pending these essential preparations.

Steps to Convert Propane BBQ to Natural Gas

Embarking on the transition from a propane to a natural gas BBQ might seem daunting, but with the right steps, you’ll enhance your grilling experience seamlessly. Here’s what you need to do to make the switch:

Assess Your BBQ’s Compatibility
Before anything else, confirm that your BBQ is convertible. Many models are built to support both propane and natural gas but always check the manufacturer’s specifications.

Get a Conversion Kit
Once you’ve confirmed compatibility, purchase a natural gas conversion kit. These kits typically include new valves, orifices, hoses, and fittings specifically designed for natural gas.

Shut Off the Gas Supply
Safety first — ensure your propane tank is disconnected and the gas supply is completely shut off before starting.

Install the Kit
Carefully follow the instructions that come with your conversion kit. Replace the propane orifices with the ones for natural gas and attach the new hose and fittings.

Test for Gas Leaks
After installation, it’s critical to test for any gas leaks. Apply a soapy water solution to the connections and watch for bubbles. If any appear, you’ll need to tighten the fittings and test again until there are no leaks.

Connect to the Gas Line
Finally, connect your BBQ to the natural gas line. Ensure the connection is secure and leak-free. If you’re not confident in doing this step yourself, it’s wise to hire a professional.

Throughout the process, remember that safety and following manufacturer’s instructions are paramount. With these steps, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the cost-efficiency and convenience of a natural gas BBQ without needing to constantly refill propane tanks.

Equipment Needed for Conversion

Before embarking on the conversion of your propane BBQ to natural gas, ensure you have the necessary equipment on hand. The right tools and components not only ensure a smooth process but also safeguard against accidents and malfunctions. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Conversion Kit: Specific to your BBQ brand and model. It typically includes gas jets, hoses, and fittings.
  • Wrenches: To remove and attach various components. You’ll likely need adjustable wrenches in different sizes.
  • Pipe Thread Compound: This is used to create airtight seals at threaded pipe connections.
  • Leak Detection Solution: Essential to identify any gas leaks after installation.
  • Natural Gas Line: If not already in place, you’ll require a professional installation.

Remember, each BBQ model may require unique tools or additional parts. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the exact equipment needed for your particular BBQ. It’s also worth noting that, in most cases, you cannot use the propane regulator for your natural gas conversion; a new regulator that’s compatible with natural gas is necessary, often included in the conversion kit.

When purchasing your conversion kit and tools, source them from reputable suppliers to ensure they meet industry standards and safety regulations. Avoid cutting corners with substandard equipment as it directly impacts the safety and efficiency of your converted BBQ.

Before starting, double-check your tools and components against the manufacturer’s recommendation to ensure you’re fully prepared for the conversion process. With the correct equipment and a cautious approach, the transition from propane to natural gas can be both effective and satisfying.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance Tips

After successfully converting your propane BBQ to natural gas, ongoing maintenance is essential to ensure it operates safely and efficiently. Here are some specific troubleshooting and maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Regular Inspection

First and foremost, regularly inspect your BBQ for signs of wear and tear. Check for:

  • Hoses and connections for any gas leaks using leak detection solution
  • Burner ports for clogging or obstructions
  • Ignition system for consistent performance

Cleaning the Burners

Clean the burners at least once a year to prevent blockages. If your flames are uneven or yellow, it’s time to:

  • Turn off the gas supply
  • Remove the burners following the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Use a brush to clean any debris off the burners

Checking the Flame Color

The color of the flame is a good indicator of whether your BBQ is functioning correctly. Natural gas flames should be blue with possibly a small yellow tip. If you notice:

  • A predominantly yellow flame, this could indicate incomplete combustion
  • A red or orange flame, check for dust or rust inside the burner

Updating Gas Fittings

Ensure all your gas fittings are updated and compatible with natural gas. If you ever need to replace parts:

  • Use components specified by the manufacturer
  • Double-check for the correct sizing and material for natural gas use

Remember, always refer back to your BBQ’s manual for specific guidance tailored to your model. Regular checks and maintenance not only prolong the life of your BBQ but also keep your gatherings safe and enjoyable.


Switching your propane BBQ to natural gas can be a rewarding project that offers convenience and cost savings. With the right tools and a keen eye for detail, you’ve got everything you need to make the transition smoothly. Remember to stay vigilant with maintenance and keep your BBQ in top shape. By doing so, you’ll ensure many enjoyable barbecues with friends and family for years to come. Embrace the change and get ready to fire up your newly converted grill with confidence.